LAHORE, Sept 4: The chief minister has sought a comprehensive strategy for eliminating extortion in the province, following some recent reports in this connection.

“The extortionists should be dealt with an iron hand and an effective strategy should be evolved for addressing the complaints being reported from some towns,” Shahbaz Sharif told a meeting held here on Wednesday, a press release said.

The meeting was attended by Railway Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique, provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Col (retired) Shuja Khanzada, chief secretary, home secretary, IG, CCPO and DIGs of operations and investigation wings of Lahore police.

The chief minister said although the menace of extortion was negligible in Punjab, the evil should be nipped in the bud.

Directing computerisation of all police stations at the earliest, he also sought an effective strategy for controlling street crimes and deputing additional force in areas with high crime rate, with senior officers patrolling there. He also sought policy to curb illegal weapons in the province in the next meeting.

Earlier, the chief secretary, the home secretary and the IG gave detailed briefings to the CM on law and order situation in the province. The meeting was told that 150 police stations had been computerised while the remaining were under the process.

The Lahore CCPO claimed that 12 members of five gangs involved in extortion had been arrested, while no money had been paid in any incident.

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