Rawalpindi admin to beef up security of schools

rawalpindi – The police and other law enforcement agencies have decided to enhance security of private and government-run educational institutes in the district following the warning issued by Punjab Home Department, stating that the terrorists were planning attacks on the schools, sources said on Saturday.

The Punjab Home Department issued the letter to the district government, police and the executive district officer (education), the sources said. The letter read, “It is intimated that threats have been received wherein schools, both public and private, may be targeted. You are requested to review security measures in schools and implement observation by the Police Special Branch shared from time to time”.

After receiving the letter, the district government, police, law enforcement agencies and officers of education department started holding joint meetings to come up with a strategy to deal with the threats.

Similarly, the police, education department and intelligence agencies made their minds to conduct a fresh survey of security arrangements of education institutions across the district.

City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi also issued directions to all the SDPOs/DSPs to visit all the schools to check their security arrangements and submit their reports to the CPO office so that any loophole could be removed.

Special Branch of Punjab Police has also started conducting surveys of the education institutions to assist the police to strengthen security of schools.

Talking to The Nation, the CPO said that he had asked the SDPOs/DSPs to go and check the security measures of all the schools in their areas. He said that extra force would be deputed to shield all the schools following the reports. He said that there were 356 schools falling under A+ category during the last survey conducted by intelligence agencies and the police. He said that action would be taken against administrations of the schools if security SOPs were not followed. He said that the police were fully prepared to tackle any kind of threat and to secure the schools in the district.

“We will conduct a fresh security audit of all the private and government-run schools to overwhelm the security flaws,” said EDO (Education) Rawalpindi Qazi Zahoor-ul-Haq. He said that he had held a meeting with the district administration officials during which it was decided that schools in the city would be given adequate security. He added that a joint team of the police, district government and education department officials had also been formed to pay visits to the education institutions to pinpoint security flaws. “Most of the schools are following security SOPs in letter and spirit,” Qazi claimed.

A senior officer of the Special Branch, however, said that the security of 90 per cent schools that fall under A+ category was found up to the mark during a survey conducted by his spies. The administrations of the said schools are maintaining the SOPs of security as well, he said.

Deputy Commissioner Talat Mehmood Gondal was not available for his comments.

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