LAHORE - Police are taking unprecedented security measures to maintain law and order during crucial by-polls in NA-122 to be held in the City on October 11th.
Massive police deployment and increased patrolling are described as the key component of the security strategy prepared for by-elections.
Lahore Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Amin Wains on Wednesday approved the security plan while presiding over a high-level meeting at the police headquarters.
Three leading political parties, PML-N, PPP, and PTI, have fielded their candidates to grab the National Assembly seat amid cut-throat competition.
A senior officer said the police have obtained “surety bonds” from organisers of election offices of the political parties contesting by-polls in Lahore’s NA-122 constituency.
After submitting guarantees to the local police, the important leaders and activists of the main parties will have to follow the code of conduct devised by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
City police chief Muhammad Amin Wains confirmed to The Nation that the police collected at least 90 surety bonds from organisers of election camps of PML-N, PTI, and PPP.
“Police will come into action against the violators irrespective of their status and political affiliation. Cops are strictly ordered to focus on security and remain neutral,” city police chief said in a brief interview.
Wains said the police would take every step needed to maintain peace and law and order during the upcoming elections.
Last week, police asked all the political activists who are running election offices in NA-122 to submit surety bonds to local police stations.
The guarantee also bounds political workers from displaying any sort of vulgarity or aggression against their opponents.
Similarly, the candidates and their main supporters will be held responsible in case their activist create lawlessness or trouble for their rivals.
“The police will not allow anybody to create unrest. The troublemakers will be dealt with iron hands,” Wains said straightforwardly.
According to him, all the field officers are directed to remain on their duty points amid heightened surveillance.
Earlier, police issued special advisery to all the three candidates, urging them to follow the security guidelines.
While sharing salient features of the security strategy, the police chief said that hundreds of policewoman would be deployed around female polling stations to ensure physical search of the voters.
“More than 100 police commandoes will take part in the security operations and sharp-shooters will be on-guard on high-rise building”.
The policemen are also directed to carry out snap-checking and physical search of every person at three different points before allowing anyone to enter the polling station.
Dozens of CCTV cameras will be installed inside and in the surroundings of polling stations to keep a vigilant eye on the activities of miscreants.
A police officer said that a central control room has been activated at the office of Lahore DIG (Operations) from where cops are monitoring security situation minute-by-minute. The divisional police officers are personally supervising the security arrangements. Several special squads are tasked to carry out armed patrolling in the areas of concern.
Since the political parties are all set to stage final rallies amid huge fanfare, police have finalised a comprehensive plan to keep the things under control on leading roads.
Hundreds of plainclothesmen will be deployed among rallies to monitor the security situation more actively.
A Punjab government official said that the paramilitary troops are most likely to be deployed inside the polling booths, marked as sensitive and most sensitive.
The police ,however, will assist military personnel at the sensitive polling stations, said the official who requested his name not to be mentioned.
A few days ago, some media reports said that a team of Pakistan Army visited polling stations of NA-122 and reviewed the security arrangements in detail.
On the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan, Punjab Rangers personnel would be deployed around many polling stations.
Also, the government has agreed to the Opposition demand that the ballot boxes and ballot papers would be transported under the supervision of Pak Army troops in City.