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Photo by PPI
Photo by PPI

LAHORE, April 21: The Punjab police have arrested 214 people for violating the code of conduct for the general election of 2013 scheduled to be held on May 11.

A cell set up in the operations branch of the central police office (CPO) on the orders of Inspector General (IG) Aftab Sultan working from April 12 has reported 202 cases till Sunday afternoon, according to official statistics available with Dawn.

Police have confiscated 248 weapons from the violators, including some election candidates, who were booked under multiple charges.

PML-N candidates Khurram Dastagir and Iftikhar Ahmad Chichhar, PPP’s Shaukat Bhatti and a PTI candidate from Gujranwala are among the prominent politicians booked in different cases of aerial firing, display of weapons and possession of arms.

According to police record, most of the candidates have secured bails in cases.

The cell, which submits its daily monitoring report to the IG, is detecting four types of violations – display of weapons, possession of illegal weapons, aerial firing and use of election-specific fireworks.

An official privy to the development taking in the cell said the district police had detected more violations in category of display of weapons by the guards of politicians and candidates followed by possession of illegal weapons and aerial firing.

He said among the seized arms, 30 per cent were Kalashnikovs.

He said at least 90 per cent of violations were recorded in Lahore, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala of central Punjab while south Punjab was relatively peaceful.

The official claimed the police campaign had brought down the ratio of FIRs from 35 to 10 per day and it would not increase in days to come because of strict directives to the field police to act indiscriminately against violators.

He said the teams of the special cell, which were working in each district, were getting feedback from five officials who are: the in charge of security, the in charge of the special branch, the in charge of the election cell, the focal person and the reader of the district police officer.

The official said feedback about cases was received from district police at 6am, 3pm and 12am in a day. He said the cell would function till May 13.