NA-246 by-elections: Rangers to monitor security in and around polling stations

Paramilitary force will monitor the CCTV cameras installed in each station


Our Correspondent April 21, 2015
A worker installs CCTV cameras at a polling station ahead of the by-polls. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI:


Everyone wants to ensure that the electoral process in the NA-246 constituency goes smoothly.


Authorities have installed CCTV cameras in all polling stations and Rangers personnel have been deployed at each station to watch over the by-polls.

For April 23, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has set up 213 polling stations in the constituency. All have been declared sensitive and will be manned by one paramilitary personnel each. The Sindh government has already imposed a ban on pillion riding, effective three days before the by-polls, while the use of cell phones is strictly banned within the premises of the polling stations. The day of the polls will be marked as an official public holiday in District Central. The ECP has also announced that voters whose computerised national identification cards (CNICs) have expired, will also be eligible to vote.

Tight security

The CCTV cameras have been installed inside the polling stations. Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali, Sindh election commissioner Tanvir Zaki and Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui have refused to take ownership of the cameras. They claim the cameras were installed by the Rangers.

“About two to three cameras are installed in each polling station to monitor the movement of voters,” a source privy to the matter told The Express Tribune. “No central monitoring cell has been established for these cameras. Each polling station has its own monitoring cell for quick response.”

The Rangers will monitor the CCTV cameras while officials of the police, civil administration and the election commission will also be present with the Rangers, explained a source. “From the first day, we are coordinating with all — political parties contesting the elections and the law enforcement agencies,” said Siddiqui.

For his part, Zaki explained that each organisation had its own role.  “We have established our election cell at the election commission office,” he explained. “Everyone is doing their own job. The cameras will be monitored by the law enforcement agencies.”

Meanwhile, police and Rangers personnel conducted a rehearsal for the day of elections on Tuesday. “Today [Tuesday], we conducted a rehearsal for our deployment and security arrangements and met the presiding officers and the election commission staff,” said SHO Khan. The rehearsal commenced at 11am and continued for at least five hours. The personnel will be deployed at the polling stations from Wednesday night.

The Rangers have also been given magisterial powers. A large contingent of police personnel will also be deployed in the constituency. “We are not just taking security measures for NA-246. Security will be enhanced for the whole city on the day of polling,” explained IG Jamali. He added that 3,500 police personnel will be deployed in the constituency with all the required vehicles and equipment while 4,000 personnel will be deployed on special duty across the city. The Rangers spokesperson was unavailable for comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2015. 

COMMENTS (4)

Karachiwala | 6 years ago | Reply Exactly only this bias behavior toward Karachi makes us to support MQM, and it increase day by day. MQM birth was no surprise, when you have PPI, NSF,Baluchs, JSQM and many other then it was little to form MQM!!! credit goes to JI, whose Angels disguise as thugs threw altaf hussain out from dormitor, just because he did not took "theirs" permission. And hence commence the APMSO. Onwards, establishment proved itself about its real basis of applying quota system only in SINDH. MQM has the mandate of Karachi, hyderabad, sukkur, mir pur but can not form a CM for sindh. Local body election has been ignored to curtail MQM power. De-limitation, voter verification, now CCTV, Rangers deployed... it looks like KASHMIR. guess what- i went to picnic last election, this time, i am taking a day off from my job Just to cast my VOTE for MQM! Jiye Muttahidda! 2.5 lakh vote for you!
Napier Mole | 6 years ago | Reply Who will mind the minders!
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