LAHORE The deployment of almost two-thirds (17,000) of the total police force in the City has deprived at least 1,433 mosques and 500 Imambargahs of police cover during the month of Ramazan. So, the administrations of these worship places have been advised to arrange for their own security, this newspaper has learnt on good authority. It wont be out of order to mention here that last month CCPO Malik Ahmed Raza Tahir had disclosed that over 17,000 cops, out of total 26,000 for the City, had been performing the VVIP duty since long. The police stations concerned have advised the Masajid Committees in their areas of jurisdiction to deploy private security guards in and around their worship places as the force is facing an acute shortage of cop strength. Informed police sources told this scribe that the Masajid Committees have expressed their displeasure over this sudden move. Yes, had the police revealed to us in time the non-availability of the policemen, we would have been in a position to look for other arrangements. But in such a short time we cannot do anything. This is an 11th hour decision of the police bosses, one Imam commented. According to a survey conducted by this paper, only one policeman has been deputed per each mosque falling in the first two categories: A and B. Cops have also been deputed, also one each, on a few category-C mosques. But not less than 1,433 mosques and 500 Imambargahs are still without any security cover. According to an official statement, only 1,800 personnel of the Mujahid Squad and Elite Force have been tasked with the masjid-imambargah security duty during the month of Ramazan. According to official statistics, there are about 3,233 masajids in the City. About 250 of them have been declared as sensitive and placed in category-A. Some 660 others have been put under the banner of category-B, while 2,323 of them fall in the category-C. Generally, the Mujahid Squad is tasked with the security duty across the City as the Lahore Police is already facing a severe shortage of jawans. That is because most of the policemen are deputed to guard top politicians, bureaucrats, federal and provincial ministers. Even a few Additional IGs of the Punjab Police, some DIGs and even SSPs and SPs are nowadays travelling with own police squads. According to the police security plan for the holy month, eight Elite Force vehicles have been set aside for any untoward incident in the City. Further, 25 Ramazan Bazaars are also being covered where 12 to 16 policemen have been deployed. The Mujahid Squads, Mohafiz Force, Tiger Squads, Mobile Vans and Mujahid Force have also been put on patrol to keep a vigil on any suspicious elements during the Sehr, Iftar and Taraveeh timings. One must keep in mind here that the City is left with only 9,000 policemen to discharge regular duties in more than 77 police stations and over 14 chowkies.