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Karachi police unit in rare protest for salaries, job.

Karachi: In a rare public protest, dozens of police officials led by their female colleagues, took to a downtown road to protest against non-payment of salaries and almost terminating their services.

Onlookers were surprised to see the police officials in uniform chanting slogans against the authorities outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC), where they are mostly posted to guard or disperse political rallies.

"We will continue our protest till our demands are met," chanted Sonia Khan, a police commando as her colleagues vowed to pursue their aim.

They all were the maiden batch that was rolled out two years back after going through extensive commando training from the two training institutes of the police in this mega city.

Anti-encroachment cell

The batch of 457 police commandos, including about two dozen females, who were assigned to work under the anti-encroachment cell of the police. The cell helps the civil administration recover the state land illegally occupied by the mafia, one of the key factors in deteriorating law and order affairs in this mega city.

Having no meaningful action with regard to recover the state land, almost the entire batch was posted at different police stations and were performing security duties instead of their actual work.

And finally they were not being paid salaries for the past two months without assigning any reason. "For past two months we have not been paid any salary and we are running from pillar to post to know about our job status," said Faisal Gul, another protesting constable.

"We are doing our duty putting our lives at stake but there is no acknowledgement," he said.

Three of their colleagues have been killed in the ongoing targeted killings in the city, which have taken the lives of over a hundred policemen in the current year, besides the killings on sectarian, political and other basis.

"No senior official came to offer condolences to the families of our three colleagues and we raised money ourselves for their burial," remarked Sonia Khan, who was negotiating with the senior police officer who was shuttling between the protesters and higher authorities.

Senior superintendent of police, Arif Aziz, in-charge of the anti-encroachment cell, finally got the protesters to agree to end their action after holding out some assurances.

"I have been told by the senior authorities that the issue of salary and the permanency of their jobs would be settled by Monday or Tuesday for sure," Aziz told the media.

The protesters were sceptical but dispersed after the assurances, pledging to come back if the demands were not met till the deadline.

"We are leaving now but if the promises are not fulfilled we would come back again and this time we will bring our families as well to join the protest," Sonia Khan said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 8, 2014
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