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ECP authorised Rangers personnel to enter polling stations

03 December, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has authorised Rangers personnel to enter polling stations and take preventive action in the event of imminent breakdown of law and order.

A notification issued by the ECP on Wednesday says: “Pakistan Rangers Sindh personnel deployed on the day of poll in the constituencies of Sindh where elections are being held on 5th December, 2015, while performing their security duties are authorised to move into polling stations and take preventive actions like arrests / detention, in case breakdown of law and order is imminent.”

The commission wanted necessary arrangements for deployment of the army and Rangers personnel in sensitive districts on the polling day and a day before that.

“The responsibility of the conduct of the local government elections will remain with the Election Commission of Pakistan and that of law and order with police. Any member of the army / Rangers who is present or deployed in any area under this order shall exercise powers under Section 5 and 6 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 for the entire duration of deployment,” it says.

The ECP authorised all designated officers in-charge of the army and Rangers of an area deployed for providing security to polling stations to exercise powers of a first class magistrate on the polling day and take cognisance of any such offences in a summary manner in accordance with provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1998. Powers of the first class magistrate shall be exercised in respect of the offences punishable under sections 48-58 of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2013 and sections 56 to 67 of the Sindh local Government Act, 2013.

“The troops so detailed shall also be governed by Article 245 of the Constitution …..and sections 4 and 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997…..” Karachi is the only district of Sindh where the LG polls are being held on Saturday.

According to the ECP, 964,585 men and 770,634 female voters are in Karachi’s District Central, 658,616 men and 528,285 women voters in District East, 929,862 men and 599,970 women in District West, 457,928 men and 347,755 women in District South, 675,589 men and 507,947 women in District Malir, and 675,589 men and 507,947 women in District Korangi.

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