LAHORE/SARGODHA, Nov 22: Law enforcement agencies have arrested two alleged terror suspects from Lahore and five members of a banned outfit near an imambargah in Sargodha on Thursday.
Punjab police sources in Lahore however claimed that the number of arrests from Sargodha was 39.
A senior police official privy to the development told Dawn that the suspected terrorists arrested from Lahore two days ago had disclosed that ‘they were ready to hit Muharram processions in the provincial capital as per given assignment’.
He said more arrests had also been made on the basis of the information gleaned from these suspects. He said several hotels, inns and restaurants in the provincial capital were under observation to track down suspects.
He said the Sargodha police had arrested 39 people of six banned outfits during a crackdown launched in the entire district since Wednesday last.
On Thursday, Sargodha police arrested ‘five activists of a banned outfit’ near Imambargah Block 19 and shifted them to some unknown place for investigation.
A police source in Sargodha said a couple of days back five boys aged between 17 and 22 hailing from Bajaur Agency had hired a room near Markazi Imambargah. He said the suspects might have some plans to target Muharram processions.
SECURITY PLAN: Following the terror attack in Rawalpindi, the security plan for the Punjab province has been revised.
Sources said 36 special teams comprising senior police officers had been dispatched to all the districts of the province to supervise security arrangements.
These police teams would remain on security duties in their respective districts till 11th of Muharram. The special teams would also remain in close contact with IGP Habibur Rehman, Additional-IG Malik Khuda Bakhsh Awan and DIG (Operations) Punjab Sohail Ahmed Khan.
The decision to this effect was taken during a high-level meeting held at the Central Police Office, Lahore, on Thursday.
Addressing the meeting, the provincial police chief said that all the police officers/officials from the rank of IGP to constable would remain on duty to ensure foolproof security. He said proper monitoring of hotels, inns, and rest houses would also be ensured to keep a check on the stay of militants at these places.
The meeting also finalized the security arrangements for the Muharram processions and routes across the province.
In Sargodha, the route of the procession had been sealed through containers and barbed wire. There would be a complete ban on parking of any vehicle on the route.
According to police, four sectarian flashpoints in the district-- Sahiwal city, Chak 70-NB Jhal Chakian, Hilalpur Midh Ranjha and Ali Waliullah Complex – would be monitored effectively.