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October 14, 2018

Over 1,500 cops deployed for election security


October 14, 2018

With the first by-election scheduled for Sunday (today), the police have finalised their security plan for the East Range, under whose jurisdiction the National Assembly and provincial assembly constituencies of NA-243 (East-II) and PS-87 (Malir-I) fall.

As some areas were already declared highly sensitive by the authorities, it was feared that if violence in any of those localities were to break out, it could engulf the entire metropolis.

Sources told The News that the East Range has a mixed population and is also under the influence of three of the major political parties of the city.

For the most part, the respective vote banks of these parties are intact. However, in some areas where their voters are divided, law and order issues can emerge.

The News talked to East Range DIG Amir Farooqi, in whose zone major political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, are contesting the by-election. East Range covers the three districts of Malir, Korangi and East. On Sunday by-polls will be conducted in District Malir’s PS-87 and District East’s NA-243.

DIG Farooqi said they have finalised the security plan for the by-polls, adding that his subordinates have been visiting every locality on foot to collect relevant information to avert any possible clash between political parties on Election Day. The officer said that a total of 115 polling stations have been established in District Malir for the PS-87 by-election as well as 96 polling buildings, including 35 sensitive polling stations and buildings. Among the 327 polling stations and buildings for the NA-243 by-election, 125 have been declared sensitive.

The perceived threats for Election Day include suicide attacks and bomb blasts, as well as attacks on prominent civil society members and political figures, law enforcement personnel and their vehicles, public gatherings and residences of the contestants.

In view of possible armed clashes, the police had already prepared a comprehensive security plan, which included heavy deployment of police, Rangers and other law enforcement and security agencies.

DIG Farooqi said that a deployment of 1,564 police personnel at the polling stations and buildings has been planned, while 34 police mobiles would be on patrol with a 170-strong staff as well as a motorcycle squad of 136 officials.

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