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Pakistan: Security cameras stolen from Gaddafi stadium in Lahore ahead of PSL matches, Punjab govt refuses to provide security to the tournament without payment

Eight CCTV cameras apart from fibre optic cables for the cameras and generator batteries with millions of rupees were stolen by thieves from Gaddafi stadium in Lahore

Several security cameras, which are installed to prevent crimes like theft, were stolen from the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore before the first game of this season’s Pakistan Super League (PSL). According to Pakistani media reports, eight CCTV cameras apart from fibre optic cables for the cameras and generator batteries with millions of rupees were stolen by thieves.

According to reports, the value of the stolen items is approximately PKR 10 lakh (around 3,21,675.31). While the optical fibre cables are essential for CCTV coverage of the event, the batteries are essential to run the generators for lighting and other power requirements at the stadium during the matches.

It is notable that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is Pakistan’s version of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While the thieves took away the cameras and their cables from inside the stadiums, cameras on outside the stadium recorded them escaping after the theft. However, they have not been identified using this footage.

Two cases have been registered against them at Gulberg police station. Police are yet to apprehend the thieves, and no arrests have been made so far.

Notably, this comes amid a standoff over PSL security costs between the Punjab government and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as the Punjab government is asking the PCB to pay for the security coverage for the tournament. While the caretaker provincial government had initially demanded PKR 450 million, they have lowered this demand to PKR 250 million. According to the government, the original cost was PKR 900 million but they sought only half of it, and then further reduced it to KR 250 million. However, PCB has maintained its position saying that it will not pay for security.

Ramiz Raja, the former PCB chairman, claimed that the board would go bankrupt if it began to pay security expenses. He said that it is the responsibility of the Punjab government to organise funds and look into the security of the stadia, and the PCB should not do the job of others. PCB has said that it has already paid PKR 700 million in provincial tax to the government exclusively, and the government will further benefit from the tournament due to the positive economic activity generated as a result.

According to reports, the demand by Punjab government is unprecedented, as generally, local governments do not require additional payment for security provided. They only seek remuneration for the security personnel, which the PCB has already paid. Reportedly, the remuneration cost for security personnel is PKR 30 million in Sindh, where Karachi is located, and PKR 50 million in Punjab, and the board has already made these payments.

PCB may shift the matches scheduled to be held in Lahore and Pindi to Karachi if the Punjab government keeps asking the board for paying for security. However, preparations have already started in Lahore, and TV production kits have been installed at Gaddafi stadium.

Pakistan Super League has six teams, based out of Multan, Peshawar, Islamabad, Quetta, Lahore and Karachi. For the 2023, matches are scheduled at Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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