PUNJAB SEEKS ARMY, RANGERS DEPLOYMENT FOR MUHARRAM SECURITY

Home Department write for deployment of 150 Army and Rangers contingents
IGP Usman Anwar says more than 457,000 policemen along with volunteers to guard Majalis and processions

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Friday sought the deployment of Pakistan Army and Rangers personnel to assist the Punjab Police in maintaining “peace and tranquillity” during Ashura-e-Muharram.

On the hand, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar stated that a comprehensive security plan has been devised for foolproof security of more than 38,000 Majalis and over 10,700 processions to be held across the province during Ashura-e-Muharram.
“More than 457,000 police officers and personnel will perform security duties across the province from Muharram 1st to Youm-e-Ashur,” he informed.
The spokesperson for the Punjab Home Department, in a statement, said the provincial government had sought the deployment of 150 Army and Rangers contingents in view of the requirements of different districts.
He said that a letter had been written to the Interior Ministry in line with the police’s request for assistance in maintaining security.
“The services of 60 Army contingents and 81 Rangers contingents have been sought through the letter”, he added.
“The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) will render best possible services for the peaceful observance of Muharram,” the statement said.
Punjab Police finalize Muharram Security Plan
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police devised the plan for comprehensive security of mourning processions and Majalis across the province.
According to Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar, more than 38,000 Majalis and over 10,700 processions will be held across the province during Ashura-e-Muharram.

“More than 457,000 police officers and personnel will perform security duties across the province from Muharram 1st to Youm-e-Ashur “, he informed, elaborating that police personnel would be deployed according to the number of processions and Majalis on daily basis during Ashura-e-Muharram.
Meanwhile, over 28,000 officers and personnel will be deployed for Muharram security in the provincial capital.
The IGP said that over 66,000 volunteers will also assist in the security of Majalis, and more than 45,000 volunteers will help in security arrangements for processions.
The personnel of CTD, Special Branch, Traffic Police, Dolphin, PERU, and other field formations will perform their duties under the Muharram security plan. Dr Usman said that 633 points across the province and 283 points in Lahore have been declared as sensitive.
Similarly, 54 points in Lahore have been marked as highly sensitive, and 229 points as sensitive. Across the province, 586 points are sensitive overall, with 146 points deemed highly sensitive, where additional personnel will be deployed, he added.
The IGP directed the Regional Police Officers (RPOs) and District Police Officers (DPOs) to ensure proactive coordination with peace committees and organizers of processions and gatherings to resolve all issues beforehand.
In view of the risk of incitement, the movement of persons included in the Fourth Schedule will be closely monitored. He said that the security SOPs of the Home Department should be implemented effectively. CCTV cameras, metal detectors and walk-through gates will be used for checking at sensitive locations. He made it clear that those found guilty of spreading hate content on social media would face stringent legal action. Dr Usman Anwar said that control rooms would be active in all districts, maintaining round-the-clock coordination with the central police office’s main control room.

Each year, law enforcement agencies devise comprehensive security plans to prevent unpleasant incidents during the holy month, especially on 9th and 10th of Muharram across the country.
In the past, militants have targeted Muharram processions several times, including a bomb blast that killed more than 40 people attending the main Ashura procession on Karachi’s MA Jinnah Road in December 2009.

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