race row police officer suspended
London, September 9, 2008 (IANS)
most senior Asian police officer has been "relieved
of his command" after accusing London police
of racism, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner,
Sir Ian Blair, said Tuesday. Assistant Commissioner
Tarique Ghaffur was put on "authorised leave
of absence" by Commissioner Blair, who met
with Ghaffur and his lawyer at Scotland Yard.
Ghaffur has lodged a £1.2 million racial
discrimination claim against the Metropolitan
Police of London, sparking what the British media
has described as a "war of words" between
him and Blair.
became controversial after policemen shot
dead an innocent Brazilian in the aftermath
of the 7/7 suicide bombings in London, said
he took the decision after a recent press
conference by Ghaffur on his race claim
case. "It is also clear this is having
a negative impact on the London 2012 Olympic
Security programme and risks undermining
confidence in it," the statement said
in a reference to Ghaffur's position as
head of security planning for the London
of the National Black Police Association
(NBPA), Alfred John, said it was "disappointed"
with the "unprecedented decision"
against Ghaffur - a much-decorated police
officer. He said Blair's "message to
his employees and the people of London is
very clear - you can come and work for us
but don't make any complaints if you are
black, Asian or Muslim because the organisation
will get you."
But Blair claimed
his decision had nothing to do with the
race claim case. "Rather, my decision
results from the way in which he has chosen
to conduct himself, for example by the manner
in which statements were made in his press
conference, and in conducting a media campaign,
both personally and through the advisors
and organisations supporting him,"