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Police put on high alert

LAHORE, Nov 22: Following a fresh wave of terrorist attacks on Muharram processions in the country, over 25,000 policemen have been put on high alert in the Punjab capital for the upcoming three ‘most critical days’.

The four-tier security plan is being introduced for the first time for main Zuljinnah processions scheduled for 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen called an emergent meeting of the departments concerned, including Operation and Investigation wings, Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and Special Branch, on Thursday to review security arrangements.

Lahore Operations DIG Tahir Rai, Investigation DIG Chaudhry Shafique Ahmed, Operations SSP Sohail Sukhera, Investigation SSP Babar Bakht, the CTD SSP, SPs of Special Branch, Security and Headquarters also attended the meeting.

Aslam Tareen informed the meeting that the police would utilise all its resources for the maintenance of law and order and provision of security cover to mourners.

He directed police officials to perform their duty with commitment and dedication and foil nefarious designs of terrorists and miscreants.

He said police officers would be present at all points along with police jawans, and any officer found absent would have to face action.

The CCPO directed them to ensure supply of food to police officials at their duty places especially to those who were deputed on rooftops.

He said no irrelevant person should be allowed at any cost on the route of Zuljinnah procession on 9th and 10th of Muharram, while a vigilant eye should be kept on balconies of the houses located on the procession route.

Mr Tareen directed them that all temporary encroachments on the route of the main Zuljinnah procession should be removed while a thorough search of streets adjacent to the route be conducted without delay.

A certificate should be obtained from residents of all buildings that no stranger or any guest who was not their blood relation was staying with them, he said.

Tahir Rai informed the meeting that the CCTV cameras were being installed on the route of main Zuljinnah procession with the cooperation of the city district government, and the process would be completed on Friday (today) while a complete video coverage of the procession had also been arranged.

He said the central control room with landline number 99211568 had been set up at the office of the DIG Operations. A DSP and three inspectors would be on duty to cope with any emergent situation and a reserve police force would be under their control.

The DIG Operations said a four-tier security plan had been evolved for all majalis and processions on Muharram 9 and 10, while the route of the main Zuljinnah procession would also be checked through sniffer dogs.

He said 200 trained officials in plainclothes would be deputed in the procession to foil evil designs of miscreants.

Chaudhry Shafique said the police force would have to remain vigilant on Muharram 8 as security arrangements for 9th and 10th were already sufficiently stringent.

Mr Tareen issued instructions to police officers and jawans to remain at their places of duty until all participants in processions dispersed.

He said the patrolling of Elite and police officials on motorcycles should be ensured in the area.

He said the police officers should park their vehicles at safe places on 9th and 10th Muharram.