Before the opening match of the Pakistan Super League this season, many security cameras that were deployed to deter crimes including theft were lost in a burglary from the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. As per reports, eight video surveillance cameras, along with optical fiber cords for the camera systems and generator batteries worth millions of rupees, were looted, if reports are to be believed.
The stolen goods reportedly have a market worth of around PKR 10 lakh. The batteries that were stolen are necessary, as they were being used to power the generators that provide lighting and other power needs at the stadium during the matches, while the optical fibre wires ensured the CCTV coverage of the entire stadium.
Cameras outside the stadium captured the criminals fleeing after the theft of the cameras and optical fibers within the stadium, as they made their escape from the site of crime. Nevertheless, the police authorities have not been able to identify the criminals using the footage as yet.
Two cases of burglary and fraud have been filed against the perpetrators at the Gulberg police station. However, the police have not been able to track down the thieves, and neither have any arrests been made in connection with the matter.
Interestingly, the robbery comes at a period of dispute between the Punjab state government and the Pakistan Cricket Board, in relation to the bearing os security expenses during the Pakistan Super League.
While the initial demand from the Punjab government was a sum of PKR 450 million, which they claimed was half of the total expenditure that would be incurred, that demand was rubbished by the cricket governing body, which refused to foot any portion of the costs. The Punjab administration has now lowered their request to PKR 250 million, and a standoff is now afoot between the two administrative bodies.
Former PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja had claimed that in the event the PCB bore the expenses of the security arrangements, the board would go bankrupt. Additionally, he revealed that the PSL had already remitted around PKR 700 million in taxes to the Punjab government, and that the tournament more than compensates for the expense by encouraging economic activity.
Further, in general, the cost of security arrangements are not borne by the organisers, but only pay for the remuneration for the security personnel, which the PSL is already doing. It remains to be seen if any development takes place regarding the matter.