LAHORE - More than 38,000 policemen are deployed around 3,580 polling stations in 15 districts of the Punjab province to ensure foolproof security during the by-polls to be held on Thursday (today). The provincial police on Wednesday approved the security plan to ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections in the province. The federal government has warned the provincial authorities to adopt unprecedented security measures since the terrorists were planning to target lection offices and polling stations in the country.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khan Baig approved the plan during a meeting held at the Central Police Office (CPO) on Wednesday. A number of senior police officers were also present on this occasion, a police spokesperson said.
Apart from 38946 policemen, at least 525 personnel of the Elite Police Force would also be deployed around the important and sensitive polling stations to ward off any untoward happening. Officials said that additional police force would be deployed around 463 polling stations, declared as most sensitive, besides 1392 sensitive polling stations.
The government has already banned display of weapons on the occasion of by-polls.
The provincial police chief has directed the police to take strict action against the violators in order to fully implement the code of conduct devised for the polls.
In Lahore, acting-Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Tahir Rai issued security plan for the by-elections on Wednesday. As per police plan, there are total 638 polling stations in Lahore which are divided into three categories A, B and C respectively. The police have declared at least 110 polling stations as sensitive in the A category.
Police said that at least four policemen besides special force and volunteers would be deployed at each polling station. “Pakistan Army (troops) will also be deployed on every polling station.
Election material has already delivered at the polling stations under the supervision of police and Army,” a spokesman for the Lahore police said on Wednesday.
“The purpose of deputation of police and army is to stop rigging, disruptive behavior, and violence during the polling,” he added.
On the day of by-elections, more than 7000 policemen and 4500 soldiers would remain on security duties around the polling stations. Every polling station will be provided sufficient security cover and the concerned SP, DSP, and SHO would be considered duty in-charges. They would be responsible for security during the polling. Muhammad Tahir Rai has directed the field officers to ensure close coordination with the district and civil administration to maintain peace in the town.
Acting-CCPO further requested the local administration and public to cooperate with police and in case of any illegal or suspicious activity, they must inform the police immediately to ensure peace and harmony.