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LAHORE: The Punjab government has called in Rangers to maintain law and order in the provincial metropolis for 15 days as the political parties are on a collision course over the election of new Punjab chief minister.

The development came after clashes broke out between members of the ruling PTI and opposition parties outside the Punjab Assembly and a hotel.

A notification issued by the Punjab Home department on Thursday stated that Section 144 had been imposed in addition to deployment of Rangers to maintain law and order in Lahore for 15 days to avert any untoward situation during the upcoming session of the Punjab Assembly.

On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Umer Sher while presiding over the district intelligence committee meeting had recommended the Rangers deployment in the metropolis.

According to minutes of the meeting, the participants were apprised that election of the chief minister Punjab is underway and different political parties are canvassing for it. “Presently, there is a crisis and conflict between political parties over holding of session of the Punjab Assembly and on exercise of powers of Speaker and Deputy Speaker,” reads the document.

It further says that there is a threat of heated debate, conflict among workers possibility of blocking of Mall Road and chances of unlawful assembly, blocking the right to way of MPAs on way to Punjab Assembly.

“There are reports of floor-crossing and allegations of changing political affiliations”, the meeting observed.

In view of the above, the district intelligence committee had requested the government to impose Section 144 to prohibit gathering within 500 meter from the premises of Punjab Assembly for the next 15 days.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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