The district administration of Toba Tek Singh has made an effort to revive the Chowkidar system which had been ignored with the passage of time.
In the initial phase, 168 chowkidar posts sanctioned for Tehsil Toba Tek Singh were filled as efforts were made to organize the task-force and entrusting it with additional powers such as anti-encroachment over state lands or aiding authorities in discharging their duties.
Assistant Commissioner Toba Tek Singh, Mr Tabraiz Mari, said that the system had been a part of the Punjab Laws Act and Chowkidara Rules 1983. He said that it had been neglected and cast aside with the passage of time.
“Every village will have its own chowkidar,” he said. “These chowkidars will act as the eyes and ears of the authorities.”
He said that chowkidars also have the authority to intervene and arrest the guilty party if they see any cognizable offence being committed. Apart from that, their basic duty would be to inform authorities about any suspicious activity or offence that takes place.
“For instance, they can warn authorities about any epidemic that has spread in a village or give vital information relating to seizure of any government lands,” said Mari.
Tabraiz Mari said that the chowkidars had been given a basic training about their roles and responsibilities. He said that they were even allowed to carry a small weapon–a stick.
Mari thinks the chowkidars are important especially at a time such as this.
“The police can’t reach everywhere in time, can they?” he asked. “Our law enforcement personnel are burdened because of the prevailing law and order situation. Here’s where our chowkidars come into play,” he added.