The special branch is the sub-branch of the Punjab police which is responsible to assist the government in policy formulation, ensuring the security of life and security of property, and also maintaining law and order in the province. The organization is headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Inspector General of Police.
The sequence of the special branch:
The sequence of the special branch police are as follow;
1. Mission statement
4. Functional set-up
5. Special branch library
To become effective’s eyes and ears of the provisional government, by collection, collation, analysis, and dissemination of information, facilitating the government in policy formulation for better governance, internal security, and most importantly the maintenance of public order.
- 1835-Anti Thuggee and Dacoity Department (AT&DD) :
The Thuggee and Dacoity Department was an organ of the East India Company and inherited by British India, which was established in 1830 with the mission of addressing dacoit (banditry), highway robbery, and particularly the Thuggee cult of robbers.
- 1877- Political intelligence was assigned to AT&DD.
- 1907- the AT&DD was renamed as CID (pol information- special branch)
- 1955- special branch and crime branch separated
- 1987- VIP and VVIP security and Anti-terrorism added to it.
- 1990- Sectarians violence in the regarded province was also added.
- 1995- CID was re-created within a special branch
- 1997- CID was separated from a special branch
- 2010- The CID converted into CTD (counter-terrorism department)
Organogram or structure:
Additional IGP is the one who leads the special branch, and after the additional IGP, the rules and duties are divided into the five DIGs and SPs who perform different duties. Such as,
- DIG intelligence- under the DIG intelligence there also came the two officers Director R&R and SSP intelligence
- DIG Administration and security- under this DIG there came the following officers: SSP administration, SSP sec, SSP Tech, SSP survey, Principal CS, SP/VIP/CM sec, SP/sec Governor
- DIG PSIA – there came two officers in PSIA- SSP PSIA and SP PSIA
- SP/VVIP security RWP (Rawalpindi)
- DIG / VVIP security LHR (Lahore) – SP / VVIP security.
Functional setup of special branch Punjab police
Law and order:
To keep an eye on and control law and order situations in case of any challenge to the maintenance of peace. They don’t let anyone create any chaos and instability in the province. They keep themselves informed of every activity happening in the province and they supervise a very close investigation of every activity.
The special branch also investigates the political activities of different parties. Whenever a political party arranges sit-ins and meetings in the province special branch took every single detail of the meetings and doesn’t let any party create any instability and challenge for the citizens. They don’t let any political party challenge the government writ and create violence in the province for their own political interests. The special branch also plays an important role during the election days and polling process by taking charge of the polling stations and preventing any violent action between the voters of the parties.
Religious and sectarian activities:
In the case of religious and sectarian activities such as celebrating Eids and during the days of Muharram they maintain law and order situations and prevent any violent moment and perform their function by maintaining a peaceful environment. Also during Ijtema or the coming of Muslims from all over Pakistan and the world to Raiwend Lahore, they play an important role by keeping an eye on every activity.
Professionals and pressure groups:
Pressure groups such as religious parties, nationalist parties, and movement, and other leftist parties plays an important role by pressurizing the government of not taking certain steps or making laws that are not best suitable for the people. So in case of any confrontation or the possibility of violence and killings they keep everything under their control through their strong intelligence of every single moment and step.
The special branch keeps a very close eye on different student activities such as their protest and sit-ins against the university administration and the relations between different student unions and councils in the province. Whenever violent confrontations take place between students of different unions then a special branch plays a vital role in managing all these sorts of violence and maintaining peace between the students. They also don’t let students organize such activities that can cause instability in the province.
Laborers and farmers activities:
Special branches control activities of laborers and farmers whenever they come against the industrialist for their own rights and such as their wages and working hours and their working conditions then special branch manages all these activities.
Data collection on terrorism cases: special branch also performs its functions by monitoring and not allowing activities to happen that are linked to terrorism and they are having the report of every single activity. So they play a major role in preventing any sort of terrorism in the province.
A special branch of Punjab police keeps an eye and watch all those organizations that are outlawed and not allowed to operate. Those organizations may be religious, political or any nationalist organization that is banned by the state are under the watch and oversight of a special branch in Punjab province.
Militant under watch:
They also keep themselves informed of all the activities of militants and have an oversight of their rebellious activities and plays a major role in preventing them from any sort of violent confrontation. So because of their watch, militants can’t cause any bloody aggression in the Punjab province which is a major role of Special branch Punjab police.
Religious places such as madaris, masjids, gurdwaras, and churches are also under the watch of special branches. They keep religious places secure on occasions of huge gatherings such as the gathering of Muslims on occasions of ‘Eid and Jumma prayers and also keep secure the madaris. In the annual gathering of Sikhs and Christians, the special branch also performs their duties by making them secure.
Activities likely to affect public order:
Any type of activities such as by organizing protests against the government policies or any other social activity such as the gatherings and sit-ins of social and religious movements that disturb the social life and activities of common people such as by blocking roads and interchanges which has a direct effect on public life. So special branch of Punjab police keeps a very close eye on every activity and doesn’t let them create any disturbance in the province.
Associations and unions:
The special branch also keeps a check on different associations and unions that may be business associations, intellectual associations, religious associations, and unions such as labors union, the teacher’s unions, and students unions. They also investigate every activity of these unions and make these unions not create any sort of activity that can challenge the peace and stability of the province.
Activities of pressure groups:
Any sort of activity by journalists, lawyers, and traders that can cause a law and order situation in the province is prevented by the special branch. These are people of influence and can cause problems by organizing protests and gatherings so they are under the watch of the special branch Punjab police.
- Security of VVIPs / VIPs – the security of VIPs/VVIPs personals such as Sports National and international Teams, politicians, Judges Etc. are assigned to the special branch of the police.
- Technical sweeping/ canine search of political venues for the meeting of politicians, Ambassadors, and the routes of rallies carried out by different groups and parties are also the assigned task of the special branch.
- Security of foreigners/ minorities from different religious groups.
- Security duties of Sikh/Hindu yatrees on their different religious functions such as Holi, Diwali Etc. are also assigned to a special branch of the police.
- Security duties at different Govt. offices and courts all over the province.
- Security of sensitive and intelligence installations.
- The special force branch also has different duties and roles to play in national status.
- The verification of provincial Govt. officials for appointments, postings, promotions, and foreign visits
- The verification of security clearance and psychological profiling of police officials for VVIPs/VIP duties.
- The verification of background check of invites on visits of VVIPs
- Verification of Private bodies and entities; such as
- Security companies
- Vetting of private security guards
- Printing and publication houses
- Grant/ extension of visa to foreigners
- Airport entry passes
Security audits reports are generated with the following objectives.
- To understand the nature of current threats and devise ways and means for countering it
- To ensure maximum security in the given circumstances
- To enhance the existing level of security
- To identify the training needs of security personnel and plan according to the priorities to ensure the creation of a suitable environment for sustaining the security measures.
Monitoring and evaluation
- The special branch monitors every initiative of the Punjab government for good governance and for the better service delivery
- Third-party validation of projects and campaigns
- The performance audit of government departments
- Special tasks assigned by the government
- Sensitizing provincial government through analysis and assessments of events and incidents
- They are assigned tasks by the provincial government to control dengue and measles, floods, and rehabilitation, also on days of the holy month of Muslims during Ramadhan they control Ramadhan bazaars, they are assigned the task of price control monitoring, anti-adulteration campaign, Anti-hoarding campaign, wheat procurement.
- They monitor fertilizer prices report, violations of marriage ordinances, electricity and gas theft, ghost schools and hospitals, pre-monsoon assessments.
- Special Branch of Punjab police also monitors Metro Bus Operations, Violation of Punjab Kite Flying Act 2009, and security survey of Educational Institutions.
- The library of the special branch was established in the year 1976 in order to facilitate special branch employees in the preparation of various analysis reports.
- In the special force library, valuable information in the shape of intelligence reports of the British period is available
- The earliest abstract in the archive is from the year 1880
- These records contain information about pre-partition political parties and their leaders.
- Events of world wars, information on trials of Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed and Bhagat Singh, etc. are available.
- The intelligence reports in the archivers are named as “Punjab Police Abstract of intelligence”.
The special branch of Punjab police is not a new department in the police but this department has a vast history coming back from before independence and even before that and has played a vital role in state security and surveillance. The current special force department has the stated mission of “To become effective eyes and ears of the Government and assist it in policy formulation, ensuring security of life & property of the people and maintenance of law and order in the province”. Overall, the Special Forces have specific assigned tasks such as; Intelligence, security, state surveillance and for this purpose, they have a library specially designed for the forces to achieve their objective and complete their assigned tasks in the given time. Shortly, in my opinion, the special branch of Punjab police plays a vital role in maintaining peace and stability in Punjab province.
This write-up has been contributed by Abu Huraira and Asfandyar.
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