Zahid Jan

Bajaur police 52 personnel are working at the homes of retired and serving bureaucrats instead of performing their duties.

Sources said that this practice dated back to the pre-merger days, when political agents when posted out from the district also took some levies personnel with them.

“Those days, levies personnel were assigned to Fata Secretariat and bureaucrats for security and domestic work,” a source said.

However, more than three years after the integration, these personnel are still working as house help to these influential bureaucrats.

Besides, the political agents or assistant political agents upon their transfer from the district, used to take home two to three levies personnel as house help.

A Bajaur police official requesting anonymity said that currently 52 police personnel were serving with retired and serving bureaucrats as house help. “These personnel are either working in kitchens or guarding officers’ residences,” he said.

The official said that these officials were properly trained and could protect lives and properties while on their job.

A cop who works at the residence of a bureaucrat told TNN that at the height of militancy, levies personnel used to happy for such duties due to threats on their jobs.

Bajaur’s security situation and shortage of police personnel

Police officials said that Bajaur police was facing shortage of personnel. Local police is always short active duty personnel, which also affects the area’s security situation.

District security situation, over past many months has witnessed disturbances including targeting of elders. Though Bajaur district’s police strength stands at around 2400; however, many of them rarely attend their duties and remain absent from their job.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) Bajaur ameer Maulana Abdul Rasheed said 15 religious scholars were killed in incidents of targeted killings in the district. Earlier in October, 2020, a former provincial ameer Maulana Mufti Sultan Muhammad was murdered in October 2020.

Sometimes later, a senior office bearer of Ansarul Islam, Maulana Abdul Salam was also targeted.  Unknown attackers, sometimes back, murdered Qari Ilyas, a JUIF candidate for local bodies’ polls in district headquarters Khar.

Similarly, he said, many other political leaders and tribal elders were also targeted.

Details obtained under the Right to Information Act 2013 showed that 54 incidents of murder have taken place in the Bajaur during the current year so far.

Bajaur police’s view

District police officer Bajaur Abdul Samad Khan said that 52 police officers were working with serving and retired officers.

He said that following the merger, integration of levies into police, their training and restricting was a difficult task.

DPO Bajaur said that they were addressing their technical and other issues in a gradual manner. On the other hand, the official said that it was difficult for them train and absorb the absent officials into regular police force.

However, he said that whenever they tried to take action against absent personnel, anti-merger elements create problems for them.

He said that to ensure attendance, they have sent 10 cops for biometric training. He said that the installation of biometric attendance system in police stations will greatly resolve the issue. DPO Bajaur said that installation of biometric system will also ensure full attendance of personnel even in remote police stations.

He said on the other hand, there was not a single female constable in the entire district, which was causing problems for the in women related cases.

DPO Bajaur said that when they advertised female cops’ vacancies sometimes back, only one woman applied for the posts. “Unfortunately, she was a non-local,” the official said.

He said that whenever police have to arrest females, they hired services of nurses from local hospitals for the purpose. “In case of raids, we call for ladies police constables from Dir or Swat,” the officer added.

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