KARACHI: Four army men and two Rangers personnel will be deployed at every polling station in the city, according to the consolidated security plan formulated by law enforcement agencies for elections day.
According to the security plan, as many as 21 officers of the colonel rank, 42 majors and 19,522 army personnel will be deployed in Karachi. They will be performing security duties along with the Rangers and police to maintain law and order in Karachi during the polls
Moreover, a total of 9,776 Rangers personnel will provide security in the city tomorrow (Wednesday). According to the plan, the army men will be present inside the polling stations, while the paramilitary force's troops will be outside. The police will be securing areas around the polling stations.
The number of police officials at polling stations will depend on the security category of the stations. The polling stations have been divided in three categories - highly sensitive, sensitive and normal. At the 1,181 highly sensitive stations, as many as 9,448 police officers and personnel will perform security duties. The number of policemen to be deployed at the 2,716 sensitive polling stations is 10,864, while 1,982 policemen will secure the 991normal polling stations.
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As many as 10,657 police personnel will be on patrol during the elections across the province, of whom 2,933 cops will be patrolling in Karachi. Likewise, 7,104 cops will be on guard on motorcycles in the province, of whom 1,955 will be in the port city.
A total of 3,900 police personnel and officers have been reserved for emergency backup across the province, according to the report. As many as 2,405 personnel and officers have been tasked with monitoring elections duties.
The law enforcers have also directed the Bomb Disposal Squad to stay alert during the polls to avoid any untoward incident. Ambulances of various welfare organisations have also been directed to station within a kilometre of each polling station to provide relief in case of emergency situation.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Police reviewed the status of suspects whose names are included in the Fourth Schedule - a list of proscribed individuals who are suspected of terrorism or sectarianism under Section 11EE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. In Karachi, the police checked and verified the status of 129 suspects of banned outfits by visiting their homes across the city while the status of 120 suspects was checked and verified in rural Sindh.
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Fazalur Rehman reviewed the arrangements and facilities made at the polling stations in a meeting held at the CM House on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman, Inspector-General of Police Amjad Javed Saleemi, Board of Revenue (BoR) Senior Member Iqbal Durani, Principal Secretary to the CM Sohail Rajput and Home Secretary Mohammad Haroon.
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In his briefing, the chief secretary said that he along with IG Saleemi, Durani and Haroon, visited almost all the districts and most-sensitive and improvised polling stations to make necessary arrangements as per the requirement of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Major (retd) Suleman said there were 5,673 most-sensitive polling stations across Sindh, where a total of 20,165 polling booths have been set up. "As per the decision of the Cabinet, closed-circuit television cameras have been installed," he said, adding that the 21,000 cameras installed at polling stations were tested for smooth functioning.
Talking about the 307 improvised polling stations, Major (retd) Suleman said that the stations will have mobile washroom facilities, generators, UPS, LEDs and other such facilities.
Brushing aside the impression of lack of water supply at polling stations, he claimed that arrangements for water and refreshments are more than enough at all polling stations.
He said transport arrangements have also been made for polling staff and to move election material to the polling stations. Divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners have given their support in this regard.
The IG told the CM that there was zero tolerance for miscreants and those attempting to disrupt the election process. "Police have arrested 2,185 troublemakers so far," he shared, adding that the arrests would increase if any one tried to take the law into their hands.
The CM directed the district administration and police to remain vigilant and on alert across the province. "I am quite happy that we have made the best arrangements and InshaAllah, everything will go well," he said.