LAHORE – Thousands of police guards have been withdrawn from VVIP and VIP duties and are deployed across the City on Muharram security as the important personalities are advised to restrict their movement.

Police sources revealed that at least 4000 policemen of security division were withdrawn from the security duties of the top provincial hierarchy including the Chief Minister and the Governor Punjab.

It was learnt that the policemen guarding the senior ministers, leading political figures, top bureaucrats, and other influential persons have also been withdrawn to cope with the security situation.

“The VVIPs and VIPs have been requested to restrict their movement since the guards are deployed all over the City to provide security cover to Muharram processions and Majalis,” a police officer said, who preferred his name not be mentioned.

A police official told The Nation that with the start of the holy month he was withdrawn from the protocol duty of Chief Minister Punjab, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. All the policemen who otherwise are put on guard on the route of the Chief Minister have been pulled out for crucial Muharram security, he added.

Police sources further said that heavy contingents are deployed in the City to ensure foolproof security during the holy month.

According to the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), four-layer security is being provided to the mourners attending Majalis and processions across the City.

Talking to reporters during his visit to an Imambargah in Green Town, Muhammad Aslam Tareen said that the police would leave no stone unturned to foil the nefarious designs of the terrorists, who wanted to create instability in the country. The city police chief also visited different areas and discussed security related issued with the management of Imambargahs and religious leaders. The Ulemas also assured full-operation to the police and expressed satisfaction over the security arrangements, according to police officials.

Flag March: The units of Pakistan Rangers Punjab and City police on Friday carried out joint flag-march on dozens of gun-fitted vehicles in the provincial metropolis ahead of Ashura (9 and 10 of Muharram). The flag-march started from Punjab Rangers Headquarters and ended at the Mall Road by passing through Harbanspura, Mughalpura, Fortress Stadium and Garhi Shau areas. A number of armoured vehicles and squads from the traffic police were also part of the flag-march.

According to officials, dozens of well-equipped units of Pakistan Rangers Punjab would remain on stand-by during Ashura. The provincial government, so far, has not demanded deployment of Rangers personnel in sensitive areas of the City since the police are put on high-alert across the provincial capital. However, dozens of units of Rangers are alerted and put on stand-by position in order to cope with any emergent situation, officials said.