LAHORE - Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khan Baig on Wednesday straightforwardly rejected the reports that the government was about to impose a complete ban on all types of religious gatherings and processions.

The provincial police chief also made it clear that the Punjab police, so far, have not received instructions from the government regarding the much-speculated ban on Majalis and processions.

“The police will provide foolproof security to all type religious gatherings and processions to maintain peace and harmony among the public in the province,” IGP Khan Baig stated this while talking to a 16-member delegation of Shia leaders, who called on him at the central police office (CPO) on Wednesday.

Additional-IG (Investigation) Muhammad Amlish, Punjab DIG (operations) Muhammad Farooq Mazhar, and AIG (operations) Muhammad Waqas Nazir were also present on this occasion. The delegation was led by Haider Ali Mirza while Syed Khurum Abbas Naqvi, Asad Abbas Naqvi, Agha Abbas and Husnain Zaidi were parts of the delegation besides other religious leaders.  According to an official handout, the members of the delegation briefed the police chief about the security situation following the Rawalpindi tragedy.  The police chief listened to the problems being faced by the community and assured the delegation that their genuine grievances would be redressed.

Khan Baig also said that the police are put on high-alert across the province since first of the Muharram and a comprehensive security strategy has been implemented in the province to maintain peace and law and order. The IGP told the delegation that thousands of policemen are deployed all over the province to provide security cover to the majalis and processions.

 The police chief also said that all the majalis and processions taking in place in different districts of the province are being monitored properly.

The delegation also lauded the efforts of the Punjab police for maintaining law and order situation and ensuring foolproof security for the mourners all over the province except the Rawalpindi tragedy.

On the request of the Shia leaders, the IGP nominated three focal persons from the police department to finalize security arrangements on the Chehlum of Imam Hussain (AS).

ASHRAF JAVED