LAHORE - This year, the Punjab police have decided to implement a wide-ranging security plan identical to the one that was implemented during the Muharramul Haram to ensure foolproof security across the province. Since thousands of Mahafil-e-Milad and processions are scheduled on the eve of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH), police sources say that security threats loom large. The police will strictly monitor the activities of the religious persons put under the Forth Schedule and in case of any violation the guarantors would be taken to task. The decision to this effect was taken during this year’s first Regional Police Officers (RPO) conference held at the central police office on Wednesday. It was also decided that the Elite Police Force would be utilized to carry our Special Operations rather than deploying them on the security duty of VIPs. In this regard, the police will coordinate with the Special Branch, CTD, and other security agencies for intelligence sharing. While addressing the conference Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khan Baig said, that “the elements involved in spreading sectarianism are enemies of the nation and they deserve no mercy. Irrespective of their affiliation to any group and no matter how influential they are, such criminals must be brought to justice. Therefore, he added, the entire police force must pull up their socks and particularly the field officers will have to work on war-footing basis to eliminate the menace of sectarianism from the society. Additional-IG Sarmad Saeed Khan, Additional-IG (Investigation) Muhammad Amlish, CCPO Lahore Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmed, and all the RPOs and DPOs attended the conference. The meeting reviewed the anti-sectarianism campaign launched in 2013 in detail. The cases related to sectarianism including the arrests of accused persons, process of investigations, cases pending in the courts, the violations of loudspeaker, and provocative speeches, and banned speakers were also reviewed. The police were asked to ensure strict action against the elements found involved distributing, printing, and spreading hatred-material. The clampdown on religious groups involved sectarian militancy will be intensified while separate staff would be deployed at police station level to monitor and investigate the cases related to sectarianism. The meeting decided to release the funds for the Model Police Stations. It was also decided that strict legal action would be taken against the policemen found involved in the incidents of death in custody. The police officers were also directed to check and discourage the practice of illegal detentions and taken strict action against the officials found involved in implicating innocent persons in criminal cases. The IGP set February 1st as the deadline to complete the history-sheets of Top-10 and Top-20 criminals. The police were also asked to step up crackdown against the proclaimed offenders. Additional-IG (Investigation) Punjab Muhammad Amlish told the IGP that crackdown against the hardened criminals is underway across the province and the police smashed 19 gangs of criminals by arresting their 113 members during the last one week. The police also recovered looted valuables worth Rs10.587 million from their possession. The officers were also asked to prepare the lists of pending Forensic Lab reports related to the murder cases. Meanwhile, the police were also asked to enhance security around the jewelry markets across the province to avoid major robberies by checking the CCTV cameras on daily basis and keeping close liaison with the business community.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 09-Jan-2014 here.