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August 13, 2017

Tight security for Nawaz rally


August 13, 2017


At least 10,000 cops of Lahore Police and other law enforcement agencies provided foolproof security cover to the caravan of ousted Prime Ministry Mian Nawaz Sharif from Shahdra to Data Darbar during his arrival in the provincial metropolis to avert untoward incident. 

Sixteen SPs, 60 DSPs, 75 SHOs and 450 upper subordinates kept on monitoring and supervising the security arrangements. Search and sweep operations being conducted for the last many days were beefed up on Friday night especially on the suburbs of Lahore. 

 Police along with the personnel of secrete agencies, officials of Special Branch, CTD and IB conducted search operations at hotels, inns, godowns, truck stands, bus station, railway station, Pathan colonies, Rang Mahal, Lorri adda, Lohari Gate, Data Darbar, Shafiqabad, Shahdra and Mochi Gate. Repeated search and sweep operations were conducted on the route. Shops, movable and immovable properties were searched. Police checked the identities of tenants and other suspects. Three suspected persons were taken into custody from the premises of Data Darbar and shifted to undisclosed location. One of them belonged to Bajur Agency and he could not prove his identity. All the streets and roads leading to the route were closed with barbed wires and barricades. 

With the dawn of the day, the cops were deputed on the route to stop the entry of vehicles. Most of the entry and exit points of the City leading to the route of the procession were blocked. GT Road from Imamia Colony to Shahdra was closed for every kind of vehicle from both sides. Aerial surveillance of the route was also conducted consecutively. 

The people who wanted to leave Lahore or who were coming from other cities faced severe problems. Traffic clogged at Kala Shah Kaku and Shahdara as long queues of vehicles were witnessed for many hours. 

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Punjab, Rana Arif Nawaz along with Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah visited the route and reviewed security arrangements at and around the stages set up at Shahdra and Data Darbar. Earlier, Lahore CCPO Amin Wains  and DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf kept on visiting the route and guiding the supervisory officers to stay alert against suspected persons and things. Snipers were also deputed at the rooftops along the route. 

 Moreover, the caravan of Mian Nawaz Sharif was also monitored through at least 500 cameras of Punjab Safe City Authority. Special monitoring rooms were also set up at the DIG and CCPO offices. 

A number of rescuers and the ambulances of Edhi and Rescue 1122 were deputed on the route to cope with emergency situation. The officials of CTD and Bomb Disposal Squad were also deputed. The cops of Special Branch and police in civvies also stayed alert at and around the stages. As the procession reached the limits of Lahore, the entry to Data Darbar was closed for general public. 

The chief traffic officer had prepared a comprehensive traffic plan to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the occasion of PML-N rally so that citizens do not face any problem regarding traffic flow. The route from Imamia Colony towards Barkat Town Puli, Shahdara Railway Station, Shahdara Chowk, Ravi Toll Plaza, Niazi Shaheed Chowk, Timber Market Chowk, Azadi Flyover, U turn Peer Makki and Darbar Data Sahib was divided into 11 sectors. Eight traffic squads were established to tackle the traffic in congested areas. Five breakdown trucks and 18 fork lifters were also deputed on the route to remove out of order vehicles. 

Six temporary medical camps were also established to provide first aid. City Traffic Radio FM 88.6 kept on updating citizens about traffic situation though most of the Lahorites stayed at home and the City wore a deserted look throughout the day. 

 Thokar Niaz Baig and Babu Sabu Interchanges remained open for all kind of traffic and additional traffic wardens were deputed there to facilitate citizens, who wanted to access the motorways from Lahore. 

Sagian Bridge also remained open for the traffic of Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Jaranwala and Sheikhupura. Though the citizens were asked to use Old Ravi Bridge to access Lahore from Shahdara Town, Kala Khatai, Rasool Park and Bahar Shah Colony, it was also clogged due to security checks. Metro Bus Service remained closed from MAO College to Shahdara.

According to the plan of Traffic Police Punjab, GT Road from Rawalpindi to Jhelum remained closed for all types of traffic on August 10, from Jhelum to Gujranwala on August 11 and from Gujranwala to Lahore on August 12.