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March 25, 2020

Sindh’s top cop asks law enforcers to sympathise with people


March 25, 2020

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar on Tuesday requested his subordinates to sympathise with the people because “we are passing through an extraordinary situation”.

The Sindh police chief said in his message that the police in the coming weeks and months had to play an important role given the current situation. “It is very much possible that this crisis will get intensified with each passing day, and we have to continue to perform our duties to maintain law and order. We have to adopt a new procedure of policing.”

He advised that while enforcing the law in the prevalent circumstances, the police should not consider those defying the government’s lockdown orders as usual law-breakers. “It is unfortunate that we are arresting such people who have been personally bearing the brunt of the current situation. We should treat such persons with due caution and sympathy. It is time to take the public into confidence, and personages of different areas should also be involved in this situation.”

The IGP told the police not to use power but instead handle the present situation with a proper strategy and humility. He asked the field police officers and personnel to start the process of contacting the elders of different areas.

He said that through such a process, low-income people living in those localities could be identified so that besides enforcing the law, the police could also help such persons by providing them with whatever they need. “We have to act as facilitators instead of just law enforcers. We should compile a list of philanthropists who can provide such needy with food and medicines. We have to become a bridge between the poor and the affluent people.”

Mahar said that in the coming days “we might have to face hunger, unemployment and a large number of patients. The law and order situation can be disturbed due to anxiety among the people as they will run out of basic necessities of life”.

In such difficult times to come, the police should sympathise with the people and be their companion, he added. “The people should not perceive the police as a brutal and unfriendly force. The police, instead of arresting people, should caution them in a polite manner while briefing them about the current threatening situation.”

The police chief said that shanty settlements in every district should appoint representatives of their respective populations to oversee the daily affairs of such communities, including arrangements for funerals and burials in case of death of any community member.

The representatives of the shanty settlements should remain in touch with the offices of the respective deputy inspectors general (DIGs) for the provision of food and water to their residents, he added.

“The cooperation of the media should be availed to portray to the people the real people-friendly face of the police while keeping in view the reality that police officers and personnel have been doing their best to secure the lives of the masses.”

He said that contact numbers of the police authorities, from the police stations to the DIG offices, should be prominent displayed in different spots. Officials should be given such vital training that they are aware of the rules and regulations for keeping their lives and that of others safe, he added.

The IGP said that charities as well as social welfare organisations should be engaged in order to supply food to the residents of the shanty settlements.

“We should keep in mind that we are passing through the most critical phase in the country’s history, and the situation can become adverse beyond our expectations, so we should make as many arrangements as we can to safeguard the people’s lives.”

He said that the number of infected people could drastically increase if the people did not observe the due precautionary measures and isolation orders, adding that the death rate could also increase.

“It is of the utmost importance that a situation of sustainable trust and harmony remain between the police and the public. The police should not use force against the public in this time of trial and suffering. The police force should instead serve humanity as a priority.”

He added: “We should make the resolve that we will emerge successful from this challenge. Besides fulfilling our basic duties of maintaining law and order, we should do public service with the best of our abilities. Such efforts will surely open a new chapter in the history of the police force. Inshallah, God will support us.”