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Mirpurkhas DC, CMO at loggerheads over cattle market issue.

Byline: Qamaruddin Shaikh

MIRPURKHAS -- The chief municipal officer (CMO) of the Mirpurkhas Municipal Committee, Shafiq Ahmed Shah, has accused Deputy Commissioner Zahid Hussain Memon of harassing him and issuing threats of dire consequences.

Serious differences between the two officials, already at odds over certain other issues, came to the fore again when the CMO disregarded the DC's request to delay the opening of a cattle market in the city till Wednesday. It was scheduled to be opened on Tuesday under the standard operating procedures (SOPs) prescribed by the Sindh government and cattle traders had already arrived outside the designated venue on Monday night.

Piqued by the CMO's attitude, the DC sent a police force to the area to force cattle traders to leave along with their animals. It was alleged that some of the traders who tried to stay on were manhandled by the police.

This annoyed the CMO, who wrote a letter to the local government secretary complaining that the DC had been harassing and threatening him with dire consequences. He also accused the DC of threatening to implicate him in corruption cases.

DC hurling threats of dire consequences, CMO tells LG secretary

CMO Shafiq Shah claimed that in a meeting held recently to discuss opening of the cattle market, DC Memon adopted a hostile attitude towards him. 'He asked me not to allow holding of cattle market on Tuesday because the Chambar town committee of Tando Allahyar district was opening its cattle market on that day. I did not oblige him as the delay was liable to cause financial losses to the Mirpurkhas Municipal CommiAttee,' the CMO wrote.

In his letter, he stated that the DC insulted and harassed him in his chamber, threatened him with dire consequences and warned to implicate him in corruption cases.

He stated that an official of Mirpurkhas SSP's office also called him and offered holding of an inquiry into the matter of cattle market.

He mentioned in the letter that force was used against traders to get the market venue vacated.

The CMO informed the LG secretary that the cattle traders on Tuesday approached a local court and obtained permission to get the market opened.

On the court order, traders were allowed to move into the market and start trading on Wednesday.

The CMO accused the DC of deliberately causing financial losses to the municipality.

He also alleged that the DC, in connivance with the Mirpurkhas SSP, had hatched a conspiracy to delay the holding of the market as per the official schedule.

On his part, DC Zahid Memon, while speaking to this reporter, rejected all the allegations levelled by CMO Shah.

He said he had requested the CMO to advance the date so that arrangements could be made to ensure proper implementation of the SOPs at the market site as was directed by the home department.

He said he had constituted several teams which were to visit the site on Tuesday and that's why the CMO was advised to wait for a day. However, the CMO appeared not ready to let the district administration make satisfactory arrangements, he added.

DC Memon alleged that CMO Shah was involved in corrupt practices, irregularities and misappropriation of public funds. He also rejected the allegation that he [DC] deliberately or otherwise caused financial losses to the municipality.

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Author:Qamaruddin Shaikh
Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 23, 2020
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