Islamabad police to wear anti-riot gear

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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police have issued instructions to its officers pertaining to the code of conduct during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) long march expected to reach the federal capital on October 4.

According to the instructions, officers deployed at the frontline will be wearing anti-riot gear whereas those without proper gear will be posted outside the reach of the protesters. Similarly, the police personnel deployed to counter the long march will not be armed with weapons and would only be allowed to carry batons.

They have been told to avoid the upper parts of the body when hitting protesters in case of baton charge and use their shields effectively in case of stone-pelting by the protesters.

According to the instructions, the SSP Headquarters will responsible to ensure the supply of anti-riot gears and logistic support to force deployed to control the law and order situation in light of the long march.

Meanwhile, Dawn has learned that thousands of long-range teargas shells available with the capital police can “seriously injure” people or in some cases even cause deaths if fired directly at protesters. The police officials have been told to avoid firing these shells at protests directly. The police have arranged 50,050 shells, half of them long-range, and 616 guns to shell protesters with teargas.

Moreover, instructions are also issued to SSP Headquarters to equip each Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) with 500 long-range teargas shells and 500 short-range teargas shells. The SSP has also been instructed that at least 100 handcuffs should be provided to each prison van.

The officials and officers are also asked to avoid talking over religious and political issues with each other, especially expressing their sentiments towards religious and political parties.

The supervisory officers and in-charges were told to make sure that all personnel wear anti-riot gear and that all the personnel should carry water bottles, handkerchiefs, and salt.

The police teams have also been told to arrange screwdrivers for rubber bullets guns in case empty cartridges get stuck in the chamber.

The director general of Safe City Authority was asked to issue drone cameras along with operators to 11 Superintendents of the Police whereas all supervisory officers and in-charges are asked to be equipped with video cameras to make videos of the protest.

SDPOs and SHOs are asked to maintain law and order and collect information from their respective jurisdiction respectively, as per the officials. The SSP Security is responsible for the security of sensitive installations, including the Diplomatic Enclave, Presidency, PM House, Foreign Office, Nadra Headquarters, State Bank of Pakistan, Parliament House, Parliament Lodges, Cabinet Blocks, Pak Secretariat, Judges Enclave, Ministers’ Colony, Supreme Court, PTV, Radio Pakistan, and Election Commission of Pakistan, the officers said.

The AIG Special Branch is asked to collect information and in this regard and deploy officials in plainclothes, they said, adding that the bomb disposal squad will also be tasked to scan sites of deployment.

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