Polling stations in Punjab categorised on basis of threats

Jul 19, 2018

RAWALPINDI: Intelligence agencies have categorised 6,147 of the 47,257 polling stations in Punjab as A or the most sensitive, 15,917 have been categorised as B or less sensitive and 25,193 as C or normal.

Faisalabad has the highest number of category A polling stations at 1,036, Gujranwala has the second highest at 922 and Multan the third highest number of most sensitive polling stations at 746. Rawalpindi has 739 category A polling stations, Lahore has 399 and Sargodha has 313 most sensitive polling stations.

Of the 5,330 polling stations in Rawalpindi region - which consists of four districts Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal - 739 polling stations were categorised as most sensitive, 1,253 were categorised as less sensitive and 3,338 were categorised as normal.

Faisalabad has highest number of category A, or most sensitive, polling stations

The Punjab government has directed divisional and district police chiefs to make all possible arrangements to ensure the implementation of the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan and prepare fool proof security plans so that the election campaign, polling and post-polling events could take place in a peaceful atmosphere.

The home department has warned that terror groups and anti-democratic forces may disrupt the election process by creating panic, uncertainty and instability in order to postpone the elections and derail the democratic process.

The home department has also directed the police to ensure the security of voters on a priority basis and to ensure they can freely exercise their right to vote.

The police have been asked to check those entering polling stations with metal detectors and walkthrough gates and to employ women officials to check women voters as well.

Mobile phones will not be allowed inside polling stations- by voters or polling agents.

Mega phones should be available with gazette officers of police and district administration during their visits and policing. All field officers are to remain on the move to ensure continuous vigilance patrolling in selected areas. Extraordinary vigilance shall be observed during and after voting process.

Quick Response Force will be deployed at appropriate places to act in case of emergency and regular police patrolling will be ensured.

Post-polling arrangements

Emphasising on post polling arrangements, the Home Department has said there will be zero tolerance for displaying weapons, the use of loud speakers, wall chalking and aerial firing.

Aerial firing after the announcement of results will be strictly prohibited.

There will be a ban on the assembly of more than five people other than voters within a 200-metre radius of polling stations during polling and counting of the votes.

Fireworks and other explosives at public meetings and near polling stations will be prohibited. Organising, taking out procession or converging at election offices to celebrate election victory will be prohibited.

A senior police official said a comprehensive security plan is being chalked out to ensure the safety of voters, election commission staff and the distribution of election material.

(The Dawn)