Ready to brace Muharram 9, 10: Karachi steps up security

Roza_e_Imam_Hussain_asMore than 6,000 volunteers and scouts have been deployed by the Shia community of the city to provide security to the central congregation and processions on 9th and 10th Muharram as a self-security measure in the wake of the prevailing law and order situation in the country.

Keeping in view the ongoing sectarian tensions and terrorism, organisers of majalis and processions have chalked out strategies to thwart any untoward incident.Shiite News reported.

The measures taken by law enforcement agencies include deployment of 5,000 policemen on the main procession route with personnel from Special Branch, Sindh Rangers, allied force commandos and the bomb disposal squad to handle any untoward incident. Around 18,000 policemen and other security personnel have been deployed across the city.

Jaffaria Alliance Pakistan (JAP) central additional secretary and in-charge of monitoring cell Shabbar Raza said the Central Azadari Cell has been established at Nishtar Park where the central gatherings of Youm-e-Ashur would be held. Moreover, the JAP has installed more than 24 CCTV cameras at Nishtar Park and along the route of Ashura processions.

While the Jaffaria Alliance, Imamia Students Organisation (ISO), Markazi Tanzeem-e-Aza, Imamia Scouts, Abu-Turab Scouts, Pak-Hyderi Scouts, Abul-Hassan Scouts, Scout Rabita Council and other groups would provide more than 6,000 volunteers including females, to thwart any untoward incident.

It is pertinent to mention here that the volunteers of JAP monitoring cell through the CCTV cameras set-up foiled a possible terrorist attack on a majlis and handed over two suspected persons to the LEAs personnel.

According to official statistics, around 140 mosques and 2,000 Imambargahs are situated throughout the city while thousands of gatherings and processions are taken out from various parts of the metropolis every year in Muharram.

Interestingly, renowned Shia scholars and clerics have strongly condemned the government’s ban on the speeches of some scholars from India saying that the government of Pakistan first issued visas to them and now has imposed a ban on their addresses.

The main processions of 9th and 10th Muharram would start from Nishtar Park, Soldier Bazaar and pass through the designated routes to end at Imambargah Husainian Iranian, Kharadar under the watchful eye of security forces.

The ISO is responsible for arranging the prayers during the procession while Allama Taqi Shah Naqvi would address the congregation.

The city police have also made elaborate security arrangements for the safety of mourners. The streets and alleys joining the procession route were sealed to prohibit entry of irrelevant people while only the vehicles bearing stickers issued by the government would be allowed to proceed.

Due to strict security arrangements by the law enforcers, very few stalls and water stalls (sabeel) have been set-up along the route by those cleared by police’s inspection or on the assurance of Shia leaders. However, pedestrians are allowed to walk along the route despite the threat of suicide bombings.

Various organisations including ISO, MQM, PPP, Jaffaria Alliance and others have set up medical camps and water stalls along the procession. The City District Government Karachi’s command and control system for surveillance through its cameras would also keep an eye on suspicious people during the processions.

The city government has also made necessary arrangements including uninterrupted power supply to facilitate mourners throughout the procession.

After the Markazi Majlis ends, the procession would move from Nishtar Park to reach Hussainian Iranian Imambargah via Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Road, Father Jamini’s Road, Mehfil Shah-e-Khurasan, MA Jinnah Road, where the mourners of Imam Hussain (AS) would offer Zohrain prayers organised by the ISO and led by Maulana Ghulam Mohammad.

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