Top Asian police officer threatens suit on racism grounds

June 27th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 27 (IANS) The Metropolitan Police of London is facing its worst ever race crisis with a top-ranking officer, an Asian Muslim, threatening to sue the force for racial discrimination. Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has found support from the powerful National Black Police Association (NBPA) which has decided to back him and asked the government to intervene in the matter.

Ghaffur is not only the most senior Muslim and Asian officer in the country, but is third in the chain of command of the Metropolitan Police. Ghaffur’s complaint is that his seniors, including commissioner Sir Ian Blair, have sidelined and undermined him, especially over his role running policing for the London Olympics in 2012.

The race row has been has been gathering storm in the past few weeks and broke the surface when Sir Ian openly summoned Ghaffur for talks, threatening disciplinary action if he did not attend. Ghaffur attended the meeting yesterday and soon afterwards, announced he wanted to sue the department.

NBPA president Ali Dizaei says Ghaffur’s complaint is legitimate. Dizaei, a commander in the Metropolitan Police, was himself in the news recently after he raised a racism row, forcing the department to settle a payout in the case. Yet another case of senior officer Shabir Hussain is currently being heard.

A decade ago the McPherson Inquiry, set up by the government had found the Metropolitan Police to be “institutionally racist”. Since then the force has been taking measures to wipe out the stigma, but now things are back to square one.

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