LAHORE - At least 4970 persons have been arrested under the National Action Plan (NAP) in Lahore, where police registered no less than 3950 cases against the violators since the NAP was put into practice to crush militancy and extremism.

The Lahore police registered 1562 cases against the house owners, property dealers, tenants, and the management of guesthouses and hotels on the violation of the Punjab Information and Temporary Residents Ordinance 2015 (from January 9 to April 20).

Similarly, the police arrested 2073 persons for violating the ordinance. Police sources say the process to implement the Punjab Information and Temporary Residents Ordinance 2015 is continued but slowly.

According to the ordinance, landlords, and administration of hotels and guesthouses are bound to provide information about the renters to the local police within three hours. Similarly, it is made compulsory for the real estate agents to submit the information about the tenants to the police within 48 hours after the house is rented out.

“The exercise helps police keep a close eye on the temporary residents. The police are maintaining the record of temporary residents in each police station,” a senior officer of the Lahore police said.

He also admitted that the police are yet to collect data from each and every rented house or guesthouse.

In the category of Punjab Prohibition of Expressing Matters on Walls (Amendment) Ordinance 2015, the Lahore police registered 34 cases and arrested 26 persons. The police also registered 120 cases and arrested 119 persons for violating the Punjab Security of Vulnerable Establishment Ordinance 2015.

Also, the Lahore police booked 1339 people under the Punjab Arms (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 during the same period (from January 9 to April 20). The police arrested 1330 people and submitted 808 challans to the courts against the accused persons.

Sources in the central police office revealed that the field officers are strictly ordered to step up the campaign to fully implement each and every section of the national action plan. A senior official further said that the investigators are directed to expedite the prosecution by timely submitting to the courts the challans of cases registered under the national action plan.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Amin Wains has warned the police that the challans of the cases registered under national action plan against the violators of loudspeaker act, distribution of hatred material, and provocative speeches should be completed at the earliest and sent to courts. The CCPO said it should be ensured that the accused persons arrested in these cases are awarded deterrent punishment and police officials should not create delay in providing evidences to courts for this purpose.

Otherwise, strict action will be taken against the police investigators, he warned.

According to a police spokesperson, at least 701 cases were registered for misusing of loudspeaker and 957 people were arrested from the provincial metropolis since the police began implementing the NAP.

Since January 9, the Lahore police conducted 1600 search operations against the suspected persons in more than 2000 localities. The police are regularly conducting search operations in 28 makeshifts and Afghan colonies located in Lahore. At least 99 illegal Afghan refugees, while 87 cases have been registered under Foreign Act against the violators. 80 of them are still in jails.

In the category of hate material cases (295 to 298-C PPC, section 9 and 11-W ATA), the police registered at least 140 cases and arrested 66 persons.

The police also observed general hold-up on 33 occasions in Lahore and impounded more 5437 suspected vehicles. Similarly, the police while taking action against display of arms registered at least 92 cases against the violators and got cancelled 12 licenses.

During snap-checking, the police intercepted at least 17386 vehicles without number plates and 29616 vehicles with unauthorised number plates. The police also took action against 61920 vehicles with tinted glasses.

While taking action against the religious extremists put under the fourth schedule, the Lahore police arrested 76 clerics including firebrand speakers and hardcore facilitators of the banned outfits.

According to officials, the Lahore police also made a comprehensive security plan to ensure foolproof security around the prisons as 54 sectarian accused and 92 hardcore terrorists are imprisoned in two jails of Lahore. The police also conducted as many as 87 search operations in the surroundings of jails.

The security of national heritage sites is also part of the national action plan. Therefore, heavy police contingents are deployed around the sites including Mazar-e-Iqbal, Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, and Minar-e-Pakistan.

While talking to The Nation, CCPO Amin Wains said the police would leave no stone unturned to ensure the implementation of the national action plan designed by the federal government following the Peshawar school brutality. The security, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies are put on their toes to fully implement the NAP. “Now, it is also the responsibility of the public to join hands with the law enforcement agencies to help police identify miscreants hiding in urban parts of the country” said the Lahore police chief.

As a part of the National Action Plan, the government has been working to stop printing and publication of hate material promoting sectarianism. The National Action Plan was drafted in the wake of the Peshawar school attack to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and extremism.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted special committees for the implementation of the plan for counter-terrorism.