LAHORE: Security across the city remained on high alert on Saturday on the occasion of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's homecoming rally, as a number of police officials were deputed at all important places on the rally route's, especially the section from Imamia Colony Shahdara to the Data Darbar.
The City Traffic Police also performed their traffic duties at all roads lead to the route of the rally to maintain the traffic flow on all diversion routes to facilitate the commuters. However, Lahore city was divided into two divisions for security as well as city traffic duty. The route of the rally was provided full security, while other parts of the city were mostly without police officials and traffic wardens, as well as non-functional traffic signals.
Sources said that all senior police officers of the city were present on the rally route the whole day to monitor the security arrangements and traffic duty to avoid any untoward incident.
Police high-ups also issued important instructions to their subordinates on the spot as well as through radio messages to get latest developments with regard to the rally. The city police once again reviewed security arrangements and deputed more police officials, including those belonging to the Dolphin Force, PRU and Mujahid Force, to avoid any untoward incident, besides launching a massive search operation in various areas to hunt criminals.
The police high-ups also deputed snipers on rooftops of buildings located adjacent to Nawaz Sharif's rally route. The CTP deputed more than the usual number of traffic wardens at Shahdara, Bund Road, Saggian Bridge and their surrounding areas to maintain the flow of traffic.
In this situation, citizens belonging to both sides of the rally route faced serious problem to move freely for their destination the whole day. Citizens were also trapped on different roads surrounding the rally diversion routes for several hours.
CCPO Aimn Wains and DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf ordered to tighten the security of all important places, especially at all exit and entry points of the city. The police also continued their search and sweep operations in different parts of the city, especially Afghan residence areas, hotels, guesthouses, markets and other places and arrested several suspects.
The DIG Operations ordered the police officials to check all vehicles and the public properly through latest equipment. On the directives of DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf, all divisional SPs conducted search operations in their respective areas along with intelligence agencies and arrested several persons for not providing their identification documents, and shifted them to undisclosed places for further interrogation.
The divisional SPs said that search operations were done on a daily basis to ensure maintenance of law and order.
Published in Daily Times, August 13th 2017.