LAHORE - The Punjab government on Thursday revealed some selected portions of the inquiry report on Rawalpindi tragedy before the Punjab Assembly fixing responsibility of the incident on seven police officers including the RPO and the CPO of the district.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Thursday told the Punjab Assembly that the Fact-Finding Committee formed by the Chief Minister to fix responsibility for the Rawalpindi incident had found the RPO, CPO and seven other police officials guilty of negligence.
Responding to a call attention notice by PTI’s Arif Abbasi, he said that government had set up a high-level committee comprising Chief Secretary Punjab, Home Secretary and IGP to afford an opportunity to the accused officers to defend their position.
He further told the committee had also recommended disciplinary action against four SSPs, one DSP, one Inspector and two ASIs not performing their duties diligently on that day.
He said that accused officers would be formally charge-sheeted once the said committee completed it task of seeking explanation from the accused.
“Had we charge-sheeted them without affording them the opportunity to present their defence, many would have raised objection”, he observed.
The Opposition, on the other hand, accused the Law Minister of concealing some important points of the report which, according to the Opposition Leader Mahmudur Rashid, had also recommended not only registration of cases against the police officers but also the major penalty of removal from service.
On the committee formed by the government, Rashid said it was a ploy to clear the accused from the charges. He demanded complete implementation of the report in its true spirit.
He further said that previously no action was taken on reports of the Flood Commission and the one formed on deaths caused by PIC medicines. The Law Minister asked the Opposition leader to sit with him in his chamber and he would apprise him of the implementation status on those reports.
He said the owner of the pharmaceutical company who supplied medicines at PIC was arrested from Karachi despite the fact many influential persons in Pakistan had asked for his release.
Arif Abbasi of PTI lamented that government had done nothing so far to compensate the families whose near ones had lost their lives and those who had been deprived of their business.
The Law Minister said that government had also set up a joint investigation committee headed by an additional IGP, also comprising officials from the sensitive agencies. The purpose behind the joint investigation was that nobody is falsely implicated into the case while the responsible officers don’t get scot-free, he added.
He further told that with the help of CCTV footage, videos made by Special Branch and those taken from the news channels, some 92 persons had been identified who had their role in the violence. Out of these, he added, active involvement of 42 has been noticed and they could not escape punishment in any case.
He also told the House that police had arrested 35 persons while the role of some 50 was being ascertained who had been seen standing close to those involved in the incident.
Five police officials, two belonging to Islamabad police and three to Punjab police have also been identified standing close to the culprits, he said, adding, but they were not providing any assistance to them.
The Law Minister replied that government had already distributed compensation cheques among the affected families while work had been started to rebuild the damaged buildings and Rs 240 million had also been released for the purpose.
Meanwhile, during debate on law and order situation, Opposition Leader Mahmudur Rashid said that 1350 incidents of crime were taking place in Punjab on daily basis while 500 to 600 cases of blind murder are reported from Punjab in a month. Taking an example of online registration of FIRs from KPK province, he proposed that a cell be set up in every district for registration of FIRs. He also questioned professional competence of the Punjab police in dealing with the crime situation.