LAHORE  - The Lahore police have been directed to implement a comprehensive security plan in the holy month of Ramazan and deploy trained security guards at religious places after proper verification.

Lahore DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf has said that a security plan has been evolved to maintain peace and harmony in the provincial metropolis during Ramazan.

While talking to The Nation on Wednesday, the Operations police chief, Haider Ashraf, said during this year more police contingents would be deployed on security duties around religious places, markets, and shopping centers as compared to the previous years.

While unveiling the security plan, DIG Haider Ashraf said that the security strategy has been divided into three categories.

“There will be complete police security around religious places during Sehr, Iftar, and Taraveeh prayers. The security of Ramazan bazaars is included in the second part of the plan while in the third phase Eid Bazaars, markets, and important roads would be provided best security cover with massive deployment of force,” the DIG explained. Responding to a question, the DIG said that there were no specific security threats but the police would remain on high alert to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-state elements.

He further said that thousands of well-trained policemen including commandoes are selected from the Lahore police for security duties.

Under the plan, all hotels, inns and Ramazan bazaars will be thoroughly checked. The police officers are also directed to ensure armed patrolling in their areas and maintain foolproof security for all religious places by deploying Muhafiz Force and plainclothes officials there. There would be three-layer security around religious places during Sehr, Iftar, and Taraveeh prayers and additional police force would also be deployed around Masajids and Imambargahs for proper checking.

Requesting anonymity, a police officer said that more than 10,000 police officials would perform security duties in Ramazan, while 160 squads will be on patrolling in different areas of the provincial metropolis.

According to the officer, all station house officers (SHOs) will visit Masajids and Imambargahs in their areas to review security arrangements and discourage unnecessary use of loudspeakers. Parking areas will be established at least 100 meters away from religious places where a constable or a private security guard will be deployed. All vehicles parked nearby will be checked.

Also, the police will keep bus-stands and the railway station under strict surveillance. An awareness campaign has also been launched among the people to inform police emergency number Rescue-15 in case they find any person with suspicious movements or find any abandoned briefcase or luggage. All the superintendents of police (SPs) and divisional SPs will also check police deployment at mosques, imambargahs, churches, and markets. They would furnish a report to the office of DIG Operations on daily basis regarding security measures.

DIG Haider Ashraf has also directed the Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) to maintain a smooth flow of traffic in Ramazan and supervise the performance of wardens.

He also warned his subordinates that he would visit different places at Sehr and Iftar and that negligence and dereliction of duty by any police officer or official would not be tolerated. The divisional SPs are also told to make foolproof security arrangements and give proper briefing to the officials in order to implement the security plan in letter and spirit so that peaceful atmosphere could be maintained during Ramazan.

The field officers are also directed to use metal detectors for physical checking around sensitive places while snap-checking would be intensified at the entry and exit points of the metropolis.