The Lahore police has come up with new guidelines for who will be assigned to picket duty and how the city’s main pickets are set up, said Capital City Police Officer Aslam Tareen on Wednesday, a day after a shooting at the Babu Sabu Interchange checkpoint in which two constables were killed.
The CCPO said that only police personnel under 30 would be assigned to man pickets as they were fit and active up to that age. They would be provided new weapons, he said.
He said that the city’s major police pickets would be modelled on the Thokar Niaz Beg picket, which includes bunkers from where shooters can provide cover to personnel on duty and canopy cover.
The CCPO said that CCTV cameras would be installed at the eight main pickets in Lahore – at Thokar Niaz Beg, Babu Sabu-Sherakot, New Ravi, Old Ravi, Gajju Matta (Bhopatian), Saggian, Mohlanwal and Muhafiz Town – which would be monitored 24 hours a day. They were also considering introducing breaks after every three hours so personnel could stay fresh throughout their shifts. Facilities like washrooms and drinking water coolers would also be set up at these pickets. “The other police pickets in the city will be abolished phase by phase, as they are mainly just a nuisance to traffic,” he said.
The CCPO said that the police had made no headway in finding the men who attacked the Babu Sabu picket on Tuesday.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Romail Akram said that 20 snipers from the Quick Response Force had been assigned to work at police posts. He said that no personnel at pickets would be left unarmed. Every policeman would be given at least a pistol, even the ones doing the checking, he said.
He said that every police picket would have 12 to 16 personnel on duty during each shift. He said that the police were currently doing a quick check to ensure all weapons were in proper working order. He said that the pickets would be upgraded in line with the CCPO’s vision in around a month.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2012.