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Polls close amid high security

October 15, 2018

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RAWALPINDI: A case of firing into the air was reported in Shamsabad as polling came to an end, amid high security and deployment of thousands of police and army personnel to maintain peace during by-election on Sunday.

However, no one was reported hurt in the firing.

Police had devised a security plan with 4,000 personnel, including armymen, deployed in and around polling stations and Rangers patrolling.

Reserves of the Punjab Constabulary had also been called to assist the local police. Additional police were deployed around 20 category A polling stations declared sensitive.

The categorisation of polling stations was carried out in light of sensitivity of areas where tensions exist between political rivals and where clashes have occurred between them in previous elections.

The police were focused on maintaining the peace during the campaigning period, on voting day and during the post-voting celebrations, as well as on providing security to politicians and candidates facing threats.

Surety bonds had also been sought from candidates contesting the by-elections, as the government imposed a ban on the display of weapons during the campaign and after the elections.

Despite the ban on the display of weapons, political workers outside a polling station in Shamsabad shouted slogans against their rival candidate and later fired into the air when polls had closed.

The situation was brought under control immediately after police and army personnel arrived at the scene. City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan also visited sensitive polling stations on Sunday to review security arrangements.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2018