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Multan CPO made OSD on complaint of Chinese workers

By Shakeel Ahmad 2016-08-30
MULTAN: City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Akram was made officer on special duty on Monday on the complaint of Chinese nationals working on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway Project, a part of the eastern route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

SSP (Operations) Dr Rizwan has been asked to take the acting charge of the CPO.

Sources said the main reason behind the CPO suspension was a letter sent by Chinese engineers to the Punjab government, alleging that the of ficial was not cooperating in the issuance of No Objection Certificate for their shifting to the newly-established base camp in Mauza Chaddhar, Shujabad tehsil.

A clash also occurred between the police and Chinese workers afew days back as the latter were insisting on staying at the camp at night, but the former opposed the idea for security reason.

Around 20 Chinese nationals are working on the project and are residing in a house provided by the government in Multan on a temporary basis.

Sources said the Chinese had established a base-camp over an area of 12.5 acre and an application was submitted to the CPO for the issuance of NOC for their shif ting to the base camp.

They said the home department had issued the standard operating procedures in connection with the security of foreigners working on various development projects while the NoC could only be issued if security arrangements were made according to SOPs of the home department.

They said the shifting of workers was scheduled during the first week of August, but it could not become possible because security arrangements were not made as per the SOPs.

They said the CPO informed the Chinese that he could not issue theNoC until the security arrangements were made as per the SOPs.

They said that SOPs required the building of watch towers at a distance of every 200 meters but only four such towers were built at each corner of the camp.

Besides, these towers and their stairs were also built outside the boundary wall of the base camp.

They said the Chinese promised to complete the security arrangements as per the SOPs within a few days.

They said the Chinese workers had on Aug 11 refused to return to Multan and insisted on staying at the base camp, but the police did not allow them to do so.

They said the CPO again visited the site on Aug 15, but he had to extend the date to Aug 22 when he found the arrangements incomplete.

However, the arrangements were still not completed as hardly 60 per cent work could be done. On Aug 23, the Chinese workers again insisted on staying at the base camp, but police once again disallowed them.

They said during negotiations 14 workers agreed to leave the camp butsix workers, some of them associated with the Chinese army and trained in Kung Fu, attacked and injured Raja Ram SHO Muhammad Ashraf and some police personnel deployed for their security with clubs.

They said the SHO had gone to the site at the direction of police chief security officer Yousaf Haroon to help him in shifting of the workers to Multan. They said the injured policemen were shifted to a nearby health center and the medical report of the SHO was cognizable, but police avoidedtakinganylegalactionagainst the Chinese to avert further conflict.

The medical examination of the Chinese workers was also conducte d at a private hospital and there was nothing cognizable in their reports.

The CPO suspended three SHOs and six other policemen for not restraining themselves from a clash.

A two-member committee headed by Additional Inspector General KB Awan was constituted by the chief minister to probe the matter.

CPO Azhar Akram termed his transfer a routine matter, saying that transfers were part of service.