Punjab Govt enforces Section 144 amid terrorism concerns

In response to escalating terrorism concerns, the provincial government has enforced Section 144 across Punjab, effective from Friday for a duration of one week. This directive aims to mitigate the risks associated with large public gatherings and ensure the safety of citizens and property.

The Punjab Home Department, in an official statement, announced the imposition of a ban on public gatherings, rallies, sit-ins, and protests throughout the province until June 27. The decision is driven by intelligence reports indicating potential threats of terrorist activities targeting large public assemblies.

“To uphold law and order, safeguard lives, and protect property, it is imperative to impose these restrictions,” the statement read. The authorities have committed to ensuring strict compliance with these regulations and have initiated efforts to inform the public about the temporary ban.

This enforcement of Section 144 is not unprecedented. In January, similar restrictions were implemented in response to security threats during the February 8 election campaigns. The earlier directive also included a ban on the display and carrying of illegal weapons, extending even to licensed firearms, with exceptions made for law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the practice of aerial firing was strictly prohibited.

The notification issued by the Punjab Home Secretary at the time highlighted potential threats to law and order, public peace, and security during the election period. Extensive political gatherings, rallies, and meetings were anticipated across the province, raising concerns about their vulnerability to acts of terrorism and disruptive activities by miscreants.

With the current enforcement of Section 144, the provincial government aims to preempt any potential threats and maintain public order. Law enforcement agencies have been tasked with ensuring adherence to these restrictions, and the public is urged to cooperate with authorities during this period.

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