A few weeks back, to the utter surprise of its inspector general, the Islamabad police found six of its wireless sets missing. Perhaps the police would have never known the disappearance of the sets had the IGP not ordered an inventory checking in the wireless communication unit of the police. The IGP?s directive came after a wireless set of the Islamabad police was recovered from a stolen car in the district of Attock.
The Toyota Corolla was taken away from the limits of the Aabpara police in November. Its driver was arrested in Attock city when he was taking the vehicle to KP.
The Attock police sent the set to the Central Police Office Islamabad without mentioning its recovery in their record.
The capital police later brought the vehicle to Islamabad. However, the driver was released on bail.
An investigation showed that the wireless set found from the stolen vehicle had been issued in the name of a constable in 2009 when he was working with a deputy inspector general of the police.
However, the constable told the investigators that the wireless was under the use of the DIG. Since the set was issued in the name of the constable, the IGP ordered the registration of a case against him.
When contacted, the Attock police said the stolen car was being driven by Izatullah when they intercepted it. They said the capital police later approached the Attock police for the custody of the arrested man as he was wanted by them.
A police officer in the capital said the recovery of the wireless set remained a mystery. If the Attock police had recovered it from the driver of the stolen car, they should have recorded it along with the recovery of the car, he said.
Besides, they should also have asked the driver from whom he had got the wireless set and if it was already in the car, from whom he had got the vehicle. He said as the recovery of the wireless set was not recorded with the Attock police, it would be impossible to investigate the case. Only the constable will be held responsible and all other characters in the case would remain untraced.
The police inquiry also showed that one of the six missing wireless sets was found in the possession of a former interior minister. Though the set was later taken back from the ex-minister, it is still not known why he had kept it after leaving the office.
The other five wireless sets disappeared from the Tarnol, Loi Bher, Koral and women police stations.
Keeping in view the prevailing security situation, the police carelessness about the sensitive equipment is worrisome. In case the wireless sets landed in the hands of any terror outfit, it could be used in any anti-state activity or for the eaves-dropping of the police activities.
It may be noted that on December 12, a man intruded into the wireless communication system of the capital police and aired a message. The caller warned that explosives had been installed in key installations. An inquiry into the incident further worried the police. It showed that private people were also using wireless sets illegally in the capital city.