Punjab bans camera phone use inside police stations
Citizens too will not be allowed to take mobile phones inside police stations
Following the increase in video clips displaying Punjab Police’s brutality and misconduct, Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz has forbidden officers below the rank of SHO from using video recording enabled smart phones inside police stations.
Citizens too will not be allowed to take cellphones inside police stations and required to deposit them outside when they enter.
Lower-ranking officers will instead be allowed to use ordinary phones that do not have the video recording feature.
Rawalpindi CPO Faisal Rana held a meeting with police officers in this regard and later forwarded written instructions to relevant officers against illegally detaining citizens and torturing them.
Instructions were also given on the use of mobile phones by lower ranked officers, while recording and uploading videos of on-duty officers was also ‘strictly forbidden’.
The moves come a day after the Punjab IG issued a warning letter to senior police personnel over custodial deaths.
Nawaz expressed extreme displeasure over the deaths in police custody. He was also dismayed over the arbitrary discontinuation of the monitoring of police stations through closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras by district and police officials.
In a letter issued to regional and district police officials, the IG said a zero-tolerance policy is enforced on the monitoring of lock-ups, SHO rooms and front desks at police stations. He added that despite this, the operation of CCTV cameras was suspended.
He expressed that the recent deaths and maltreatment in police custody indicated the irresponsible behaviour of field and senior police officials.
The police chief warned that DPOs, SPs, SDPOs and supervisory officers would be held responsible if any such case surfaced again in the future. He asserted that all related officials would undergo a departmental inquiry.
Nawaz also said that the internal accountability branch had already been issued standing orders which would automatically come into effect on the report of any such incident.
He directed police officials to ensure implementation of orders for supremacy of the rule and law.