LAHORE - Country’s largest law enforcing agency is taking unprecedented measures to ensure security during the holy month of Muharram in the Punjab, where more than 139,977 policemen would be deployed to maintain peace and to fend off any unwanted situation.

Simply, the entire Punjab police from the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP) to the Constable would remain on-duty to provide security cover to 9700 processions and tens of thousands of Majalis to be held across the province.

“Since the level of security threat is serious during the month of Muharram-ul-Haram this year, the police are taking unprecedented security arrangements,” Punjab IGP Khan Baig said on Sunday.

Despite holiday on Sunday, IGP Khan Baig presided over the Regional Police Officers’ (RPOs) conference held at the Central Police Office (CPO) to review law and order situation in the province ahead of Muharram.

The provincial police chief spelled out the security plan saying that at least 139,977 police officers are to be deployed on duties across the province to ensure peace and tranquility during the holy month.

CCPO Lahore Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmed, RPO Sheikhupura Abu-Bakar Khuda Bukhsh, RPO Gujranwala Saad Akhtar Bharwana, RPO Rawalpindi Sheikh Zaeem Iqbal, Acting RPO Faisalabad Dr Haider Ashraf, RPO Multan Amin Wains, RPO Sahiwal Shahzad Sultan, RPO Sargodha Ahmed Ishaq Jehangir, RPO Bahawalpur Nawaz Waraich, RPO DG Khan Akhtar Umar Hayat Laleka, Additional-IG (Investigation) Punjab Muhammad Amlish, DIG (Operations) Punjab Farooq Mazhar and Acting DIG (Operations) Lahore Rana Abdul Jabbar were also present on this occasion.

The plan says that at least 78937 policemen, 14,200 officials of the Punjab Constabulary and Elite Police Force, 21373 personnel of the reserved force, 15969 Quami Razakars, and 9498 officials of the special force would be deployed on security duties.

Similarly, 305 gazetted officers, 1066 Inspectors, 3638 Sub Inspectors, 6241 ASIs, 6747 Head Constables, and 60940 Constables would be part of the security deployment force.

These officers and officials will be deployed in 880 areas, declared as sensitive places, besides providing security cover to 9757 processions, and 37740 Majalis to be held in the Punjab province.

A police spokesperson said that it was also decided in the RPO conference that apart from CCTV cameras and metal detectors, walk-through gates would also be installed at the entry and exit points of the procession routes. The police will also ensure strict monitoring of the elements involved in spreading sectarianism and provocative material. The misuse of loudspeakers would not be tolerated and activities of banned clerics would also be monitored closely.

Punjab IGP also directed officers to properly check gas-shells, rubber-bullets, and water-guns before the holy month so that policemen would be effectively equipped for unforeseen incidents. Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) are told to remain ready in case of any serious situation. The policemen from the Punjab Constabulary would also be sent to all the districts of the province.

In order to further improve law and order situation in the Punjab province, it was also decided in the conference that the police would intensify crackdown on proclaimed offenders. Police were also directed to complete history-sheets of the Top-Ten criminals within next three weeks.

Khan Baig also directed all the RPOs to personally supervise the campaign against proclaimed offenders. Cops are also ordered to closely monitor activities and movement of the persons already marked in the fourth schedule. 

LAHORE SECURITY: CCPO Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad has said that more than 15,000 policemen would be deployed during Muharram in Lahore to cover at least 5000 Majalis and 600 mourning processions.

He said that sectarian harmony is the need of the hour. He also urged religious scholars and leaders to play their due role to create harmony and brotherhood among masses.