A day after former prime minister Imran Khan announced his much-awaited march on Islamabad which will commence from Lahore on Friday, the capital administration has stepped up preparations to counter the protest and multiple arrest teams have been formed to deal with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters.
Islamabad police officers told Dawn that the police have started gathering intelligence regarding the preparations made by the PTI for the protest in Islamabad.
According to the intelligence gathered so far, the former ruling party has asked supporters to arrange gas masks, bed sheets, blankets, towels, three pairs of clothes, small-size tents, sling-shots, marbles and batons for the sit-in in Islamabad.
In order to deal with the protest which is likely to reach the federal capital on Nov 4, at least 13,086 personnel – 4,199 Islamabad police officials, 1,022 from Sindh police, 4,265 FC personnel, and 3,600 Rangers – have been deployed in different areas of the capital, the police officers added.
The law enforcers are equipped with 616 teargas guns, 50,050 teargas shells, 611 12-bore guns, 36,700 12-bore rounds, 17 pepper ball guns with 4,000 projectiles, 15,000 spray paints and 2,430 masks. About 374 vehicles have also been arranged for transport purposes, the officers added.
Meanwhile, arrest teams have been formed to tackle the protesters.
An arrest team comprising 43 policemen equipped with teargas and rubber bullets will be deployed at New Margalla Road.
It will also have a prison van and four pick-ups vehicles. Another arrest team comprising 21 policemen along with two pick-up vehicles, a prison van and 100 handcuffs will also be deployed in the jurisdiction of Industrial Area police station.
Four separate arrest teams, comprising 43 policemen equipped with teargas, rubber bullets, four pick-ups vehicles, two prison vans and 100 handcuffs will also be deployed in G-6, G-7, Srinagar Highway and Blue Area.
Additionally, police teams will also be deployed at Pims, CDA Hospital and Polyclinic, the police officers said, adding that contingents armed with anti-riot gear will be at the disposal of the DIG and SSP operations.
The Faizabad interchange, including overhead bridge, I-8 entry from Metro Station, 9th Avenue, Zero Point interchange, Khayaban Chowk, Khayaban-i-Suhrawardi at Serena Hotel, Nadra Headquarters Chowk, entry from the Fata House side, ILO Turn and Marriott Hotel Chowk will be sealed with containers, the officers said.
Deployment of police
An APC, two prison vans, two ambulances, two fire engines, 579 police officials, 700 FC personnel, 400 Rangers, armed with 100 teargas guns with 7,000 shells, 60 12-bore guns with 5,000 rubber bullets, five pepper guns with 2,000 pepper balls, 2,000 spray paints will be deployed at Faizabad, the police said.
At least 283 policemen and 200 FC will be deployed near Sector I-8 Metro Station with 15 teargas guns and 2,000 shells, and at least 20 12-bore guns with 1,000 rubber bullets.
Similarly, 433 policemen, 500 FC, 400 Rangers armed with 100 each teargas and 12-bore guns, 5,000 shells, 3,000 rubber bullets, three pepper guns, 1,500 pepper balls, 5,000 spray paints, two ambulances and fire engines will be deployed at Zero Point interchange, the officers said, adding that 279 policemen and 300 FC personnel armed with 20 teargas guns, 2,000 shells, 15 12-bore guns and 500 rubber bullets will also be deployed on 9th Avenue.
Likewise, 350 policemen, including 100 Sindh police, 400 FC and 200 Rangers armed with 20 each teargas and 12-bore guns, 3,000 each gas shells and rubber bullets, a pepper gun, 500 pepper balls and 1,000 spray paints will be deployed at Khayaban Chowk, the police officers said, adding that 540 policemen, 200 FC and 300 Rangers, armed with 10 teargas guns, 800 shells, five 12-bore guns, 500 rubber bullets, an ambulance, a fire engine, and an APC will be deployed at Khayaban-i-Suhrawardi.
Furthermore, 45 policemen and FC armed with five teargas guns, 200 shells, three 12-bore guns, and 100 rubber bullets will be deployed at Nadra Headquarters Chowk, the officers said, adding that 133 policemen, FC, and Rangers personnel armed with teargas guns and 150 shells will be deployed at the entry point near the FATA House, which will be blocked with containers.
At least 37 policemen and FC men armed with five teargas guns and 100 shells will be deployed at the ILO turn, according to the officials.
At least 222 policemen, FC, and Rangers equipped with five each teargas and 12-bore guns, 100 shells, and 200 rubber bullets will be deployed at Marriott Hotel Chowk.
Also, police and law enforcers equipped with teargas and 12-bore guns will also be deployed at Faisal Chowk, Shaheen Chowk, New Margalla Road, Aabpara Chowk, Club Road, Globe Chowk, Express Chowk, China Chowk, Geo Chowk, Judges Colony Margalla picket and T-Cross Bari Imam.