Muharram 9 mourning processions were under way on Monday amid strict security arrangements to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), his family, and companions in Karbala.
To prevent any untoward incident, cellular services have been suspended around the site of the processions. Meanwhile, pillion riding has also been banned in most cities.
In Karachi, the main procession began from Nishtar Park and will end at Hussainia Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.
In Lahore, the mourning procession was taken out from Islampura and it will culminate at the same venue tonight.
Similarly, in Peshawar, the main procession was taken out from Imambargah Hussainia Hall, Sadar Road.
In Islamabad, the procession will emerge from Markazi Imambargah Asna Ashri in Sector G-6/2.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah said that the government will ensure foolproof security during the month of Muharram.
Taking to his Twitter account, Rana Sanaullah announced that the government has decided to establish a control room for surveillance and monitoring of security arrangements across the country.
He said, “Special security teams will be formed to provide foolproof security to the processions and majalis.”
Earlier, it was reported that all the arrangements have been finalised in Rawalpindi to observe ‘Ashura’ with religious fervour and reverence to commemorate the supreme sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions for the cause of Islam while over 6,000 cops would guard 64 mourning processions and 113 majalis of the district.
The district administration and law enforcers finalized all necessary arrangements to facilitate the mourners. Rawalpindi District Police, City Traffic Police (CTP), Rescue-1122 Rawalpindi and other departments concerned finalised all the arrangements for ‘Youm-e-Ashura,’ to be observed on Tuesday. Six main processions of Zuljanah, Alam and Tazia would be taken out on Ashura from different areas of the city.
All the processions would culminate at 10:00 p.m. at Imambargah Qadimi. Clerics and religious scholars would highlight the teachings of Imam Hussain (RA) and various aspects of the tragedy.
According to City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari, the Police had finalised elaborate security arrangements for peaceful passage of ‘Ashura’ and avoid any untoward incident. Special security arrangements were finalised for Muharram ul Haram in the district as it’s a sensitive area, he said, adding that a three-layer security cover would be provided particularly to the main Muharram processions with special arrangements ensuring rooftop duty and deployment of Quick Response Force (QRF).
The foolproof security arrangements had been finalised for main 10th Muharram procession of city which starts from Satellite Town and culminates at Imam Bargah Qadimi. Over 2,500 security personnel would be deployed to guard the main procession while 3,500 cops would provide security cover to other processions and majalis of the district.
According to a police spokesman, no person would be allowed to carry a weapon in Muharram procession except designated police officers.
Police would not allow anybody to organise a new Muharram procession and on SOP violation strict action would be taken against the violators, he added. A special 24/7 control room had also been set up in his office, he said. He informed that strict monitoring of Ashura processions would be conducted as Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras had been installed at routes of main Zuljinnah processions and places where majalis would be held. He said special contingents of commandos and police officials would also be deployed on trouble points.
According to the security plan formulated in this regard, aerial surveillance of ‘Ashura’ processions would also be conducted to ensure security of the mourners. Additional force of Special Branch Police, Elite Force, Punjab Constabulary, and Women Police along with district police would be deployed to ensure security on 10th of Muharram.
Special checking of the routes would be carried out before start of the processions and bomb disposal squad would clear the routes.
The mourners would be checked with metal detectors and walk through gates would be installed at the entry points of the processions.
The route of the main procession of ‘Ashura’ would be sealed completely and streets on the route would be barricaded. Vehicles and motorcycles would not be allowed to move with the mourning processions.
The spokesman informed that Rawalpindi district police had finalised security arrangements for 447 processions and 1,925 majalis of Muharram ul Harram while special security arrangements were also finalised for 40 sensitive processions of the district.
Close to 2,000 volunteers were also performing security duties along with District Police, Ladies Police, Elite Force, Traffic Police, Punjab Highway Patrol, Punjab Constabulary and Dolphin Force personnel, he informed. Senior police officers were visiting all the routes of the Muharram processions to review the security arrangements, he added.