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East Range police devise election security plan for three districts


July 24, 2018

With the 2018 general elections just around the corner, Karachi has been divided into segments dominated by different political groups. As more or less a thousand areas are considered highly sensitive, any untoward incident can threaten the city’s peace.

It is feared that even though the respective vote banks of the country’s three major political parties are largely intact, problems can arise in the constituencies where their votes are believed to be divided.

The News talked to East Range DIG Amir Farooqi, in whose zone major parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, are competing against each other. Ten National Assembly constituencies fall in East Range’s Malir, Korangi and East districts.

DIG Farooqi said his efficient subordinates visited every locality in his zone to collect relevant information, following which they finalised the election security plan for the East Range.

A total of 2,061 polling stations have been established in the East Range: 778 in District Korangi, 652 in District Malir and 631 in District East.

One hundred and eighteen polling stations in District Malir are considered sensitive, 255 in District East and a whopping 732 in District Korangi, where extra force will be deployed.

The perceived Election Day threats include suicide bombings, roadside explosions and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, as well as attacks on prominent civil society members and political figures, vehicles and personnel of law enforcement agencies, public gatherings, polling stations and their staff, and candidates and their residences or their kidnappings.

Other incidents that can discourage voters from casting their ballots include violence and disruption of law and order at polling stations, snatching and destruction of polling materials, aerial and sniper firing, and damage to public and private properties.

DIG Farooqi believes these threats can materialise in highly political localities such as the Solider Bazaar, Jamshed Quarters, Ferozabad, Brigade, Baloch Colony, Mehmoodabad,

PIB Colony, New Town, Gulshan, Sharea Faisal and Aziz Bhatti areas in District East. In District Korangi he identified Landhi, Awami Colony, Korangi, Zaman Town, Korangi Industrial Area, Al-Falah, Shah Faisal Colony, Saudabad, Model Colony and Khokhrapar as high-risk areas.

Gadap City, Airport, Malir Cantonment, Sharafi Goth, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Sachal, Memon Goth, Quaidabad, Sohrab Goth, Shah Latif, SITE Super Highway, Mobina Town and Malir City are considered trouble spots in District Malir.

The officer also identified Lyari, Malir, Shah Faisal, Bin Qasim, New Karachi, Shah Latif, Gadap and Saddar towns as well as some parts of Clifton Town, where the risk of ethnic clashes is high.

He said that to overcome any untoward situation, they have devised a comprehensive security plan, which includes heavy deployment of police, Rangers and other law enforcers.

The Central Police Office has also issued an election security plan for Sindh’s 96,533 polling stations and their vicinities. Its spokesman said 100,599 policemen, including officers and staff, will be deployed across the province.

“There will be 76,533 policemen on security duty, while a reserve force of 3,900 more will stay on high alert,” said the spokesman, adding that absolute implementation of Section 144 will be ensured on July 25.

Foolproof security

Sindh Chief Secretary Maj (retd) Azam Suleman Khan said on Monday that foolproof security will be ensured during the elections as well as after the announcement of their results, adds our correspondent.

Chairing a meeting to review arrangements for the elections, Khan said installation of 21,000 CCTV cameras will soon be completed at 5,673 sensitive polling stations of the province.

He directed the provincial police chief to take stern action against everyone who is involved in aerial firing and fireworks after the announcements of the election results.

He said that all the national and international observers as well as media persons should follow the code of conduct and the standard operating procedure issued by the election commission.

He directed the health, information and other important departments to remain open all through Election Day and make sure their respective staff members are also present. He also directed all commissioners and DIGs to remain in field and visit the polling stations in their respective jurisdictions to ensure foolproof arrangements.

He stressed on the importance of presence of all polling staff, warning of strict disciplinary action against all absentees.

He directed the home secretary to ensure that all mobile tower vans reach the remote areas of the province to ensure uninterrupted network supply.

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