KARACHI: Police officers who were sacked from their services over pay dispute in their hiring resorted to protest outside Karachi Press Club, galvanizing on-duty cops into action against the protesters.
The protesting ex-policemen, demanding release of their pending salaries, had to brave water cannons, baton-charge by fellow police officers during the protest.
It all started, according to our correspondent, when one of the ex-cops attempted to commit self-immolation while police contingent tried to stop him, leading to clash between the two sides.
The vicinity outside the press club wore a battleground look when the cops launched baton-charge on protesters, thus creating a gridlock in the crowded Saddar area.
Police also called water cannons on the spot to disperse protesters but it aggravated the demonstration as the latter remained deterred with their protest call and vowed not to move until their demands were met.
The law enforcers also collared some of the protesters and forced them into vans to bring the situation to normalcy.
Ex-cops had threatened to commit self-immolation by this evening if their demands were not met by the government.
Why the cops were dismissed from their service?
Several cops of the Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) were dismisses recently over irregularities in their hiring process.
The protesters were among those SRP cops who were recruited by former IGP Ghulam Hyder Jamali during 2012 to 2015, but the incumbent police chief, AD Khowaja, dismissed thousands of policemen after an inquiry committee, which was constituted on a Supreme Court’s directive, said in its report that former police officers had accepted huge bribes for hiring the SRP cops.
In light of the committee’s recommendations, the apex court had ordered dismissing hundreds of illegally appointed policemen of the SRP and other units. The sacked cops launched a protest campaign against IGP Khowaja, who had removed them from their service in accordance with the SC orders.