The provincial government has ordered enhanced security at various buildings including important government buildings and residences of politicians and government officers in the wake of a terrorism threat in the city.
A pamphlet from the Capital City Police Officer’s office addressed to police officials and citizens on Saturday night, said the police had received information from credible intelligence sources that a suicide bomber and 10 of his accomplices had entered the Ferozewala locality. The pamphlet also carried a brief description of the terrorist’s appearance – around 30 years of age, of medium height with a long scar on his face that runs from his nose to the right eye with marks of stitches on it.
The pamphlet said that intelligence reports suggest that the terrorists were masquerading as vegetable sellers in the area and would try to enter Lahore under the same pretence.
The CCPO’s pamphlet directs police officials to look out for a person of that appearance while manning pickets and during search operations.
The city police have also been directed to make announcements about the bomber at all mosques. The idea is to request citizens to report persons matching the description at the police 15 helpline.
Police received intelligence that the terrorists were planning an attack at the Wagha railway station, City railway station, Raiwind railway station, places of worship of Shias, Christians and Ahmadis, and VVIPs including the chief minister, ministers and senior government officers.
Security around the Raiwind residence of the prime minister, GORs, police lines, the IB office, the FIA building and the CM Secretariat among others has been tightened. Around 10,000 police personnel have been deployed at 3,800 registered mosques in the city, including 350 which have been declared highly sensitive.
An assistant sub inspector and two constables are guarding each of the most sensitive Category A mosques and imam bargahs. Around 400 Category B (sensitive) mosques are being guarded by two constables and a police volunteer each.
Quick response force units have been deployed during prayer hours outside imambargahs and Ahmadi worship places. On the other hand, the police are distributing the pamphlet at all mosques and making public announcements.
Iqbal Town SP Iqbal told The Express Tribune that two special search operations had been carried out in Afghan bastis on Saturday night. He said all divisional SPs had been directed to ensure strict checking at entrance and exit points of Lahore.
Iqbal said buses from KP and southern Punjab districts were being checked by police and the administration of all bus stands had been directed to keep a look out for suspicious looking people travelling on busses.
Another SP, requesting anonymity, said biometric devices connected with NADRA servers were being used to verify identity at pickets and during search operations.
The Home Department has also issued a notification to the administration officers of the Services and General Administration Department and asked them to tighten security in and around the civil secretariat. According to the orders, the main entrance of the secretariat will remain closed for traffic and only the back entrance, adjacent to the People’s Hostel will be opened for incoming officers and other visitors.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.