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Sep 11, 2008 at 05:12pm IST

Scotland Yard racist, accuses woman Asian cop

London: In the UK, more trouble is brewing for Scotland Yard as it faces another case of racism.

This time it is an Asian woman officer who has levelled allegations of racism. The latest row is raising questions of institutional racism in Scotland Yard.

Britain's most senior Asian cop, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, was suspended by the Metropolitan (Met) police chief on Tuesday.

The Met chief, Sir Ian Blair finds himself in another racism row as a senior Asian woman officer is planning to level charges of racial discrimination.

The head of diversity, Yasmin Rehman has alleged that she has been subject to racist bullying and victimisation at the Met. The officer is also known to have been on a year's sick leave to avoid the treatment.

Peter Herbert, Chairperson of the London Race Hate Crime Forum, said,"Racial discrimination exists. It may not be as prevalent as it was 10 years ago, but it still exists. Its still a problem."

On Tuesday, Sir Ian Blair placed Ghaffur on 'authorised leave' over fears that his recent statements to the media were affecting the 'operational effectiveness;' of the force.

Ghaffur had lodged a £1.2million claim on August 22. Hours after his suspension, Ghaffur hit back in a statement saying he was being 'unlawfully victimised'. The war of words is turning ugly.

Peter Herbert has criticised the Met's actions. "What the Met does is to say to the senior officers of Asian, African and Caribbean descent that if you speak against race, we will deal with you. That's no way for Met police force to behave," he added.

The suspension of Ghaffur by the Met police chief has once again brought the conflict at the top levels of the police force, into the public domain.

Ghaffur's hearing is expected early next year but the damaging impact of this race row is already being felt.

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