Amid custodial torture cases, Punjab police bans use of mobile phones while on duty – Pakistan

Punjab police have banned the use of cell phones by officers while on duty and banned them from capturing videos of other police personnel on duty, it emerged Monday.

The regulation comes after several cases came to light in the last days of suspects who died in the custody of the Punjab police due to alleged torture.

A statement sent to all Punjab police officers by the additional inspector general on behalf of the Punjab IG, seen by Dawn.comHe stated that it had been observed that police officers were using mobile phones while on duty, although "clear instructions have already been transmitted in this regard to all field formations."

"Frequent violations of these instructions / SOPs are poorly reflected in the performance of supervisory officers," he said, and stressed that it was the responsibility of the field formations to implement the instructions "in letter and spirit."

"In the future, no officer who is below the rank of SHO (Station Officer) or who is in charge of a deployed service will use the cell phone while on duty," the letter said.

He also said that it was "strictly prohibited" to make a video of police officers on duty or upload a video of police officers who did their duty.

Any violation of the order will result in "severe departmental action" against the police personnel involved and their supervisory officer, he added.

At least three cases came to light last week of deaths caused by alleged police torture, and the videos went viral on the social networks of some suspects in an anguished state while in police custody. On September 1, Salahuddin Ayubi, a man with a mental disability, had died in police custody in Rahim Yar Khan. On the same day, a middle-aged man had died in Lahore after allegedly tortured by the Gujjarpura police in an illegal torture cell that was unearthed last month.

There were also reports that a gardener named Amir Masih had died after being illegally detained in an alleged police torture cell in Lahore.



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