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RAWALPINDI: The Punjab police have decided to raise a ‘special police’ to overcome manpower shortage for general elections.

According to police sources, all the district police officers (DPOs) of the province have been directed to raise the force which would reinforce the available police.

For raising the special police, the DPOs have been directed to strictly follow criteria and recruit only Punjab domicile holders.

The age for the recruitment should not be 20 to 45 years and the candidate should not be a political activist and having no relations with any sectarian or terror group.

The force will be deployed at places where regular police fall short of personnel

The DPOs have further been directed not to recruit any individual who is having criminal record.

Three day orientation training will be imparted from July 16 in each district police lines across to train the recruits in basic policing.

Duty cards with their file photographs to be issued after necessary verifications and they will wear white / off white clothes with red strip band on left arm inscribed with ‘Special Police’.

The special police will perform duty with polo sticks and they will be provided with a pocket size pamphlet containing necessary instructions in Urdu for the duty.

Female candidates will also be selected as per requirement.

When contacted a senior police official told Dawn that raising a special police has not been an illegal practice as it is in accordance with the Police Order 2002 which authorises DPOs to appoint special police for special purpose, like general elections, Muharram duties and other special purposes.

He said the aim of raising special police had been to meet manpower shortage. But those individuals recruited for special police must be physically fit and having no criminal record.

The senior police official said that special police personnel would be deployed at places where regular police personnel fell short.

The special police personnel will be paid and provided food and transportation, but they will not be in police uniform, the senior police official said adding that it is up to the DPOs to keep them engaged for how many days.

The City Police Officer, Rawalpindi had already requested for 1,200 extra police personnel from Punjab Constabulary to assist the local police during elections to maintain peace.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018