Islamabad police to have body cameras

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have decided to equip personnel deployed at entry points of the capital with body cameras to ensure accountability during the protest.

In a pre-emptive measure, the police also decided to deploy officials at the entry points and strategic locations in the federal capital. In case the protesters tried to attack the police officials or destroy public property during the long march, the audio and video recordings from these cameras will be used to identify and nab the culprits.

This is not the first time that the police have decided to use body cameras for the sake of transparency. During the tenure of the PTI government, the police had decided to equip officials at check posts with body cameras after complaints of misbehaviour and extortion.

However, it will be the first time that cameras would be used in Islamabad to tackle law and order situations and to identify potential miscreants.

According to details, at least 10 cameras have been procured in the first phase to test their performance and the number of cameras will be increased after the pilot phase. These cameras are equipped with night vision capabilities and can record audio along with videos as well.

Similarly, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel will also be equipped with modern technology to perform their duties during the long march.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday announced that he would attend the long march in person on November 26 in Rawalpindi. On the same day, in a report submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the capital police highlighted the risk of an “accidental confrontation” with the police personnel from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who have been providing security cover to the PTI long march.

In a meeting chaired by IG Akbar Nasir Khan on Sunday, the capital police took stock of the security situation arising from the expected march on Islamabad by the PTI supporters, said a statement by the police on its Twitter handle.

Sharing details on the account, the police said nobody would be allowed to take law into their hands. They added that in light of the potential march towards Islamabad and Red Zone, the administration may block entry from Rawalpindi to Islamabad on Nov 26 – the day on which former prime minister Imran Khan’s supporters will converge on Rawalpindi.

They said that permission from the Islamabad administration would be a prerequisite for any political activity in the federal capital. They added: “Police, FC, and Rangers will be deployed to ensure the security of the Red Zone and security will be improved.”

“Keeping in view the threats of terrorism, search operations [by law enforcers] will be conducted throughout the district,” the police said, adding that strict action would be taken in case of any obstructions.

The CPO headquarters will personally supervise the personnel posted on duty across the district and take care of their accommodation, food, and other facilities, the statement said, adding that DIG-level officers will also personally review the facilities for the personnel posted in Islamabad for the long march.

Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi, PTI leaders Asad Umar and Shibli Faraz held a meeting at the City Police Office on Sunday to discuss the security protocols put in place by the provincial police to maintain law and order during the PTI long march. According to sources, the PTI leaders met the Rawalpindi CPO at his office to discuss the security protocol for the marchers.

It was the third meeting between PTI leaders and the district police in which issues related to security and route of the long march were discussed. The PTI has planned to hold a public meeting near Shamsabad on Nov 26.

Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, a PTI leader and member of the provincial assembly, is expected to apply to the district administration for permission to hold the public meeting near the Survey of Pakistan building which is located close to Faizabad interchange.

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