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Ban imposed on carrying weapons, holding rallies near polling stations

KARACHI: In an attempt to prevent law and order situation from deterioration, the Sindh government has imposed a ban on carrying weapons and holding public gatherings around polling stations in the entire province until July 25 – the day of elections in the country.

According to the provincial government, the ban has been imposed on an immediate basis, invoking Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and violators will be penalised by the police under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Home Secretary Haroon Ahmed Khan issued a notification in this regard, copies of which were also provided to the provincial police chief, all divisional commissioners, deputy inspector generals, deputy commissioners, superintendants and senior superintendents of police as well as to the Chief Minister House and the Governor House.

The notification stated that the Services, General Administration and Coordination Department has conveyed that the chief secretary passed orders during a meeting held on June 30, wherein he instructed to impose a ban on carrying weapons and holding of public gatherings around polling stations throughout the province as there is a likelihood that vested interest groups or disgruntled elements may disrupt the election process.

It added that the government is satisfied that in order to avert any untoward incident during the elections, it is necessary to take immediate measures.

In pursuance of Section 195 (i) (a) of CrPC, the station house officers of the police stations concerned were authorised to register complaints under Section 188 of PPC for violation of Section 144 of CrPC against the violators.

Besides, Sindh Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman Khan has said that the government had released over Rs one billion for the provision of necessary facilities at all polling stations in the province.

He informed a delegation that some 20,000 CCTV cameras were being installed to monitor law and order situation at 5,673 polling stations that had been declared sensitive over security concerns.

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