Deputy commissioner ‘tortures’ subordinates over ‘poor performance’

Despite Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan telling bureaucrats that they have to vary their mindsets because “there is not any room for ancient practices in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Naya Pakistan”, the present has learnt details of the harrowing experience of a gaggle of junior bureaucrats who were “subjected to torture” by their boss in Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab.

According to sources, a minimum of four of the said junior bureaucrats — currently serving as assistant commissioners (ACs) in several parts of the district — were subjected to torture by the deputy commissioner (DC) who “robbed” them of their official vehicles on late Saturday night and made them to steer back to their posts over “poor performance”.

“The ACs included those of Toba Tek Singh, Kamalia, Pir Mahal and Gojra tehsils,” they said and added the junior bureaucrats were ridiculed ahead of lower staff of the DC Office also as that of their own. “Reprimanding your juniors over unsatisfactory performance is one thing but mistreating them, the way it had been during this case, is outrageous.”

Speaking to the present , one among the ACs, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that that they had been subjected to torture because the DC, besides removing their official vehicles, had also mistreated them by forcing them to face outside the office as a punishment until around 1 am once they were told to steer back home. “We managed to form arrangements for our commute but three folks were women, and relations of my colleagues believe the mistreatment has scarred their daughters for all times .”

“This isn’t in the least acceptable and that we want the govt to require action but it can cost us our careers,” said the AC, to which sources said that the victims feared calling their boss out or approaching high-ups because their immediate superior, which during this case is that the DC, is responsible to guage them within the annual confidential report (ACR) that’s a performance evaluation of a employee .

Toba Tek Singh tehsil AC, on the opposite hand, rejected his own colleagues’ claims. “It was just a routine meeting and zip happened,” he said. When informed that his colleagues had already confirmed the claims regarding their mistreatment, the AC said “the DC can say anything to her officers”.

“It was a gathering between the DC and her officers and that we , under ethics of the service, are sure to obey the orders of our seniors.”

Contrary to Toba Tek Singh AC’s beliefs, several other public servants and native s aware about the event are of the view that the DC “must be transferred for the sake of the people of the district as Eidul Azha and Muharram amid the coronavirus pandemic are round the corner and local authorities under such a supervisor cannot give their best at a sensitive time”.

“There may be a difference between running a decent ship and stooping as low because the DC did,” they assert , urging Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar to require action.

Repeated attempts were made to contact Toba Tek Singh DC as she was informed of the claims made by her subordinates but she didn’t comment.

Attempts were also made to contact Punjab Information Minister Fayazul Hasan Chohan to ask him about the government’s reaction to the incident and progress on its promise of revamping bureaucracy for better governance, but he too was unavailable.

Meanwhile, PTI Toba Tek Singh President Dr Waheed Akbar Chaudhry and native leader also as Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar’s brother, Chaudhry Muhammad Ramzan, have “appreciated” the DC over her treatment of the ACs.

“People are always complaining about these officers for doing nothing. regardless of the DC has done was the proper thing to try to to and that we hope she is going to continue discharging her duties diligently and with none leniency,” they said during a statement.

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