Punjab heads to by-polls amid election violence fears

— ECP sets up control centres in Islamabad, Lahore to monitor election situation

— Army, Rangers, FC personnel deployed to ‘assist’ 52,000-strong police

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: With Punjab hours away from the make-or-break by-polls on Sunday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced to have set up special control rooms at central and provincial levels to monitor election on 20 seats of the provincial legislative assembly.

According to the agency, the control rooms will continue working till compilation of polling results.

Returning officers (ROs), respective deputy commissioners (DCs), representatives of police, Rangers and Pakistan Army personnel will be present in the control rooms to deal with any untoward situation.

The control rooms will promptly resolve any election-related complaints which could be registered in the central control room established in Islamabad by calling on dedicated helplines 051-9210837, 051-9204403, 051-9204402, and 051-9210838.

“The complaint can also be communicated through fax number 051-9204404 and email [email protected],” the commission shared.

The provincial control room in Lahore could be contacted at landline 042-99212620, 042-99212209 and by email at [email protected]

Rangers, Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary personnel will be deployed in Punjab.

The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan to review the security measures ahead of the elections. The meeting was attended by the officials of the Ministry of Interior and security agencies.

The participants reviewed the law and order situation during the by-elections and also reviewed the letter of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Raja Sultan regarding the deployment of forces in “sensitive constituencies”.

During the meeting, the participants expressed satisfaction with the security measures in the constituencies.

Meanwhile, the meeting has imposed a ban on the display and possession of arms in Punjab and Sindh. A special control room will be set up at the Interior Ministry on July 16 and 17.

52,000 POLICE DEPLOYED

Meanwhile, over 52,000 members of police will be deployed in 14 districts across Punjab on Sunday.

A spokesperson of the provincial government said security arrangements for over 3,100 polling stations have been finalised.

“The government has imposed a ban over carrying and exhibition of arms and remove election camps and banners of opponents,” he said.

“The government will act indiscriminately against people involved in such incidents,” he said. “The law enforcement personnel will be alert to tackle any untoward situation.”

Punjab police have also set up a control room and finalised their preparations to ensure peaceful holding of by-elections.

The provincial police chief, Rao Sardar Ali Khan, said that women police will be deployed at the polling stations reserved for women.

In the four constituencies of Lahore, over 9,000 personnel will be deployed for election security, he said.

“Safe Cities cameras will help in monitoring the situation,” Khan said. “The department has set up control rooms at the Central Police Office and in districts.”

“The police will ensure the safe delivery of the electoral material and ballot papers at any cost,” he said.

“Police department will extend all possible assistance to the election commission and those involved in lawlessness will be taken to task.”

The personnel of the Anti-Riot Force and the Elite Police will remain on alert. “Surety bonds have also been taken from the candidates of all parties,” he added.

Khan has also directed the police to ensure enforcement of the election code of conduct at any cost.

The post Punjab heads to by-polls amid election violence fears appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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