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RAWALPINDI: The Punjab home department has asked the army authorities to provide 10 companies of the army and four companies of Rangers for security duty in Muharram.

Previously, the services of the army remained at the disposal of the district administration in Muharram but this year it is not yet clear if the troops will remain at a standby in connection with the security duty.

Five companies of the army and two companies of the Rangers will be deployed in Rawal Division, three army companies and one Rangers company will be deployed at Potohar Division while two companies of the army and one company of the Rangers will be on security duty in Saddar Division.

The current strength of Rawalpindi police is one DIG, four SPs, 20 ASPs/DSPs, 40 inspectors, 626 sub-inspectors, 695 assistant sub-inspectors, 1,043 head constables and 6,495 constables.

However, the required police personnel to be deployed to maintain law and order is eight SPs, 25 DSPs/SPs, 60 inspectors, 350 SIs, 430 ASIs, 500 head constables and 5,010 constables.

Though the 20 reserves of police will be positioned at the headquarters, 10 reserves armed and 10 reserve with anti-riot equipment will remain at a standby for the entire month of Muharram.

The police will collect details of students residing in religious seminaries and will also maintain the record of individuals staying at inns, hotels, and houses on rent.

All the SDPOs and SHOs have been directed to get certificates from the buildings falling along the procession routes that no suspicious person is residing in any building. In case of any untoward situation, the occupants of the building concerned will be held responsible.

All the SDPOs and SHOs in their respective jurisdictions will brief the owners of petrol pumps, shopkeepers, especially those dealing in tyres and inflammable commodities, to manage their own security. And owners of public service vehicles and private cars will be asked to keep their automobiles at a long distance of the procession routes.

A district control room will be established that will remain functional under the direct supervision of the deputy superintended of police (legal). Objectionable books, pamphlets, handbills and posters will not be allowed during the month. In addition, display of videos and audiocassettes containing objectionable speeches will be banned. Restriction on the use of loudspeaker will be enforced. Activities of militant and sectarian organisations will be kept under a strict watch.

Security arrangements will also be made for the protection of mosques falling on the routes of processions. Wireless fitted vehicles have been provided to all the concerned officers as information about any incident would be conveyed to the seniors through the control room.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018