Cellular services to remain suspended along procession routes; 6,000 police personnel deployed
Muharram processions on Thursday culminated peacefully in the twin cities amid tight security.
The main eighth of Muharram procession started from Jamia Murtaza G-9/4 and ended at Jamia Imam Sadiq G-9/2. The procession, led by Syed Hamid Ali Moosavi, Chief of Tehreek Nifaz-e-Fiqha-e-Jafariya (TNFJ), passed through its designated routes in which Alam and Tazianey were taken out. The mourners offered Zuhr prayers at Imambargha Jamia Murtaza.
A large number of mourners, including women and children, participated in the procession.
Hamid Ali Moosavi said that Muslims can save Pakistan and Islam by following the teachings of Imam Hussain, who stood firm for the betterment of the Muslim world.
The capital police made special arrangements during the procession, closing all roads leading towards the procession. A senior police official said that over 1,000 police officials and elite commandos were deputed during the procession and were assisted by Rangers.
The police said that concerned superintendents of police (SPs) and station house officers (SHOs) monitored the procession and Operations SSP Sajid Kiani visited the area to inspect security arrangements.
Similarly in Rawalpindi, City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi directed foolproof security arrangement b made to guard the processions
All the roads and streets leading to the routes of the processions were sealed with containers and barbed wire. Police blocked all roads leading towards Qasar-e-Shabbir Imambargah to ensure security for the procession. Potohar Division SP Muhammad Ateeq Tahir supervised the arrangements.
The Islamabad Police have already chalked out a compressive security plan in the capital, with over 10,000 officers to be deputed during the processions. Moreover, cellular services will be suspended in sectors G-6/2 and G-7/2, where Ashura processions will be held.
On the 9th of Muharram, the main procession will start from Markazi Imambargah Isna Ashri, G-6/2, and conclude at the same location after passing through its designated routes.
Earlier, the capital administration had sent a request to the interior ministry to suspend cellular services.
District Coordination Officer (DCO) Rawalpindi Sajid Zafar Dall has imposed a ban on the use of loudspeakers, wall chalking and the distribution of hate material, a spokesman said. The restriction will be effective from October 23 to October 24.
A security plan has also been chalked out by the local administration in Taxila to protect religious places, mourning processions and majalis.
Foolproof security arrangements were planned for imambargahs and mosques of Taxila and Wah Cantt, sources said. They further informed that 79 persons will be under strict vigilance, adding that surety bonds have been taken from 10 of the men placed in ‘category A’.
Sources further said that as many as 33 processions would be taken out in Taxila and 10 in Wah Cantt, of which 20 have been declared sensitive. In all, 31 majalis would be held, in the two cities, of which nine have been declared ‘sensitive’ and seven ‘less sensitive’, they said. As many as eight imambargahs in Taxila and three in Wah Cantt were also declared sensitive, they added.
Special control room would be set up where police officials will be on-duty round-the-clock, and police personnel would also be deployed along procession routes, sources said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.