Mass Official Killings get Security SOP Designed for Peshawar’s Bus Terminals
PESHAWAR: Recent Government officials killing got city police on Thursday to issue 'Standard Operating Procedure' for the security of local bus terminals and stands.
The development comes in the wake of the bombing of a government employees’ bus on Sunehri Masjid Road in the limits of Peshawar cantonment, which killed 14 people and injured 55 others.
A meeting between bus stand owners and managements and Peshawar Senior Superintendent of Police (operations) Abbas Majeed Marwat took place in the day.
During the meeting, bus stand owners were told to follow the police’s instructions to ensure the security of buses and passengers.
Drivers to check commuters; won’t stop buses on the way to destinations
The SSP later told media that under the SOP, drivers and conductors would be bound to physically search all passengers before allowing them to enter public transport vehicles.
He said the luggage of the passengers, including the handheld one, would also be thoroughly checked.
Mr. Marwat said for the cargo going on public transport and other vehicles, the bus stand administrations would have to ensure that they have the copies of the identity cards of those sending the consignment along with their names and latest addresses.
He said drivers would not be allowed to stop buses midway once they left their respective bus stations.
The SSP said besides proper physical checking of all passengers, the bus stand operators would have metal detectors as well.
He said in case suspicious items were found on public transport vehicles, driver and conductor would make an announcement about that to ensure it was properly checked.
Mr. Marwat said the drivers would also ensure the video recording of all passengers before buses left for their destinations and would keep the video records with them for at least a week.
He said drivers and conductors would thoroughly search buses once passengers got off to ensure that nothing is left there.
About the investigation into the bus bombing, Mr. Marwat said the police were probing the terrorist attack from various angles and had questioned the driver of the bus.
He said initial investigations had revealed that the coach was left unattended during the night when it was parked at a petrol pump in Dargai and thus, apparently providing an opportunity to terrorists to plant the explosive device in it.
The SSP said both bus conductors identified as Muzzamil and Kashif were seriously wounded and therefore, the police would record their statements once doctors allowed them to speak.
SP cantonment circle Kashif Zulfiqar told media that the formulation of SOP had become necessary in the aftermath of the attack on the government employees’ bus and that was why, the police held a meeting with transporters to make a strategy for the protection of public transport vehicles and their passengers.
He said the city police’s high-ups would sit down with drivers and owners of the buses used by government employees shuttling between Peshawar and other districts to chalk out a strategy to prevent the Wednesday like incidents.
Fayyaz Ali, a government employee at the Civil Secretariat, who had gotten off the attacked bus near Peshawar Central Prison minutes before the bomb went off, told media that several commuters stepped off the bus near Haji Camp, Firdous Chowk and Peshawar High Court.
He however said many people got onto the bus at those places.
He said as the government employees couldn’t afford to discontinue the arrangement altogether due to high cost of travelling, they would sit down and try to devise a strategy for safer commuting.
“We can’t carry on like this and need to follow some security protocols,” he said, adding that such government employees will try to ensure that someone not known to them is not allowed to board their buses.
The employee said he and other commuters won’t allow drivers to stop buses in the limits of the provincial capital.
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