Lahore, Nov 11 : Policemen who are supposed to perform a 12-hour shift while standing alert at police pickets installed at exit and entry points of Lahore city, are shunning the "heavy" jackets as they weigh around 15-20 kg.
They complain that it was impossible to wear the jackets as they were too heavy to wear for 12 hours at a stretch.
Hence, they have decided not to wear them, thereby putting their lives at stake in a possible suicide attack, reported the Daily Times.
Superintendent of Police (SSP-operations) Shafique Ahmad had during a visit to Sagian Bridge ordered the provision of bulletproof jackets to the police squad.
At least five pickets are established at exit and entry points of the city. A permanent picket has been set up at the new Ravi Bridge, where 12 policemen have to stand alert in a 12-hour shift, whereas the four other pickets are manned by seven policemen each.
According to a policeman, a jacket weighs 15-20 kg and it is impossible for a person to wear such a heavy load for 12 hours. "The policemen in other countries were given lightweight jackets and rifles, but here they were given heavy jackets and rifles, which were difficult to wear for longer than an hour," the Daily Times quoted him as saying.
He said that light jackets should be imported if the Police Department was conscious of their welfare, and added that all the policemen who had been killed so far in terrorist activities would have been saved if they were provided bulletproof jackets.
Mobile Squad SSP Babar Bakhat Qureshi said that they could not force the police personnel to wear the jackets.