LAHORE - Heavy police contingents were deployed in Lahore as police launched a major security sweep in Raiwind to ward off protesters near the Prime Minister’s house.

Police sources fear a stampede like situation at the venue – Adda Plot– where huge crowds are expected but the space is limited. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is planning to stage one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations on September 30 (today).

Thousands of police will also be deployed on the route of the rally to maintain peace amid growing political tension. Some officials say that the possible clashes between the workers of ruling PML-N and PTI could not be ruled out during the march, which is taking place a few kilometers away from the residence of PM Nawaz Sharif.

A PTI delegation yesterday called on Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Amin Wains to discuss security plan regarding the Raiwind public meeting.  A police spokesman said that Mian Aslam Iqbal, Shoaib Siddique, Chaudhry Ijaz Ahmad Dayal, Malik Zaheer Iqbal and Khalid Mehmood were part of the PTI’s delegation.

Lahore CCPO said that a comprehensive security plan had been evolved to provide effective security to the participants of the rally.

According to the plan, more than 7,000 police officers and officials would be deployed on security duties. The city police chief also told the PTI leaders that the participants of the public meeting would be provided three-layer security. A control room has been established to monitor Raiwind public meeting, in which officers of police and district administration would be posted, the CCPO said.

The delegation was also informed about the threat issued by security agencies. The meeting decided that police, district administration and PTI leadership would keep close liaison and coordination with each other during the public meeting.

On this occasion, DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf said that all the vehicles coming from other cities would be thoroughly checked before allowing them entry to the venue of the public meeting. He also said that search operations would be launched around the premises of public meeting on Thursday evening. In order to control traffic, wardens would be deployed throughout the city, he added. The members of the delegation expressed their complete satisfaction over the arrangements made by the police for the security of participants. They said that they would abide by the code of conduct, chalked out by the police and district administration.

Lahore Commissioner Abdulla Sunbal , SSP (Operations) Muntazir Mehdi, SSP Investigation Hassan Mushtaq Sukhera, SSP Special Branch Shaukat Abbas, CTO Tayyab Hafeez Cheema, SP Security Rana Tahir and other officers of concerned departments were also present on this occasion.

The leaves for all policemen have already been cancelled while some police reserves were called back from the headquarters for deployment in city to ensure foolproof security during the protest movement.

It was not clear yet whether or not the police will block some important roads and crossings by placing heavy containers this time. The police are on high-alert at the entry and exit points of the metropolis while armed patrolling was intensified in the sensitive and most sensitive areas.

Also, the police are mounting one of the biggest security operations in Lahore ahead of the holy month of Muharram. Hundreds of police mobiles, Dolphin squads, and police response units will remain on patrol on the city roads today.