Police personnel to wear bodycams in LG polls

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For the first time in country’s history, the police personnel will wear bodycams while performing their duties in local government (LG) elections in Karachi, scheduled to take place on January 15.

In a statement, Additional Inspector-General of police (IGP) Javed Alam Odho said that more than 700 police personnel in Karachi would wear bodycams during LG elections.

Moreover, all Station House Officers (SHOs) on duties will also be equipped with body cameras.Javed Alam Odho further said that sensitive polling station will be monitored through bodycams. “Any untoward situation will be recorded immediately”, he said, adding that all cameras will be monitored by command and control.

Earlier in the day, it was reported that the Ministry of Interior ordered static deployment of Frontier Constabulary (FC) troops outside all highly sensitive and sensitive polling stations during local government (LG) polls in Karachi, Hyderabad and Thatta divisions.“The competent authority, in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 220 Constitution, is pleased to authorize static deployment of available sufficient enough of Frontier Constabulary to ensure smooth conduct said elections,” the Interior Ministry said in a letter.

Interior Ministry, in its letter to ECP, mentioned that the exact number of troops and area of deployment will be worked out by the electoral watchdog, Home Department, and Government of Sindh in consultation with FC authorities.The development came after the armed forces refused to arrange static deployment at various polling stations in Karachi and Hyderabad, as part of second phase of LG elections, scheduled for January 15 (Sunday).

It is pertinent to mention here that after MQM-P’s demand, the Sindh government announced to postpone the Karachi and Hyderabad LG polls.However, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rejected the provincial government’s notification to postpone polls and ruled that the local bodies elections will be held as per schedule on January 15.

Rejecting Sindh government notification and request, the ECP has directed Interior Ministry to ensure the deployment of Rangers and Army on highly sensitive polling stations in Karachi and Hyderabad.

Later, the Sindh government also announced to hold the local government (LG) polls on January 15, 2023.