Lahore’s new Quick Response Force in action against terrorism

February 23, 2014 - 7:00:59 am
LAHORE: The newly-raised Quick Response Force (QRF), a batch of which passed out a few days ago at Qilla Gujjar Singh Police Lines in Lahore, was formally brought to the field assignments yesterday to prevent crime against property and terrorism in the provincial capital.

A batch of 90 QRF officials with the help of 45 motorcycles performed patrolling and picketing duties to assist the local police in the Baghbanpura police precinct and also held flag-march in four areas of the Cantonment police division.

On February 17, a batch of 219 policemen completed a month-long professional and physical training course (combat, raids, ambush, anti ambush, repelling, weapon-handling and picket-forming) with an objective to curbing terrorist and criminal elements.

The trained personnel are being deployed for patrolling and picketing in hot spots already identified by the police in all the 84 police stations.

Yesterday, QRF officials set up pickets on all entry-exit points of hot spots, where robberies and street crime take place frequently. Cantonment SP (Operations) Sarfraz Ahmad Virk said 90 QRF officials flag-marched in North Cantonment, Ghaziabad, Burki, Baghbanpura and Harbanspura in the morning on the first day of their field assignment.

He said the officials would be part of patrolling and picketing duties in all hot spots in Baghbanpura circle from 7pm to 1am.

He said eight Mohafiz (each comprises four policemen and two motorcycles) were usually part of patrolling in each police station but the availability of QRF officials would be on alternate dates.

Sources said the experience to raise QRF was not new in the Lahore police as earlier similar forces were raised at least four times in the last five years or so keeping in view terrorist attacks in the city.

Around 300 police constables were imparted commando training by the army officials at the Elite Police Training School.

However, the force either remained in reserves or was deputed at static places or assigned VVIP duties. It was not used for combat operations or crime fighting, they added.

Sources expressed apprehensions that yet another experiment to raise QRF might be a futile exercise owing to a lack of inconsistent policies.

SP Headquarters Maroof Safdar Wahla said out of 261 constables, 219 passed the QRF course.