LAHORE  - In a major development, Lahore police chief has ordered a massive clampdown on the banned outfits ahead of Eidul Azha and warned that the proscribed groups or organizations will not be allowed to collect hides of sacrificial animals.

City police conducted security sweeps in 12 different religious schools and checked the particulars of over 2500 students during the past two weeks, Capital City Police Officer said on Sunday. The police chief issued these directions while presiding over a meeting held to review the law and order situation and implementation of the national action plan in the provincial metropolis. DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf, DIG (Investigations) Chaudhry Sultan, and several senior officers were also present on this occasion.

Muhammad Amin Wains has also ordered the field officers to intensify clampdown on religious extremists involved in stoking sectarianism, printing and distribution of hatred material, and those violating loudspeaker act.

All the divisional police officers are directed to implement a wide-ranging strategy to stop militants, their supporters, and sympathizers from collecting hides of sacrificial animals on the upcoming Eid. “No militant group or organization will be given space to survive in this society. The police will come into action where there will be a breach of the law.” The CCPO also ordered the officers to continue search operations against the suspected elements on daily basis. On this occasion, the CCPO also approved the security plan for the forthcoming religious festival and ordered the deployment of at least 10,000 cops to maintain peace in the metropolis.

While giving a detailed briefing to meeting participants, DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf said that the security was heightened at all the entry and exit points of the provincial metropolis in the backdrop of Peshawar attack. He said that heavy police contingents including commandoes and sharp-shooters would be deployed around at least 3500 places in Lahore where Eid prayers would be offered. He also informed that the policemen are actively using biometric machines for the verification of suspected elements during search operations.

Lahore police chief Muhammad Amin Wains also ordered the officers to intensify crackdown against the sectarian elements put in the fourth schedule in order to keep a vigilant eye on their movement and activities.

The police chief was informed that Lahore police searched at least 29,000 houses besides checking as many as 50,000 vehicles including motorcycles during the last week.

Also, at least 1500 suspected vehicles were impounded during the same period. The police took action against the tempered vehicles, without number plates, and having incomplete documents during this operation.

The police also registered 191 cases for violation of loudspeaker act and tenancy law during such operations in all divisions. Similarly, particulars including identity documents of 2513 students were checked during search and sweep operation in 12 seminaries of different schools of thought including.

According to police, the management of seminaries had been warned not to enroll any student without complete identification and verification of documents. Moreover, advisory letters were issued to all seminaries, urging them to improve their security.

Police arrested 223 proclaimed offenders and court absconders during raids in different areas of the city last week.

During the search operations, hotels and guesthouses and other bus stations were checked and 99 suspects were taken into custody. Out of which 60 were released while the others are being interrogated at an undisclosed location.

In its campaign against illicit weapons, the police arrested 82 accused for possessing illegal arms and recovered 44 pistols, 25 rifles and guns and more than two thousand bullets and cartridges from their possession.

As a part of the National Action Plan, the government has been working to stop printing and publication of hate material promoting sectarianism. The National Action Plan was drafted in the wake of the Peshawar school attack to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism and extremism. Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituted special committees for the implementation of the Plan for counter-terrorism.