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The Rawalpindi police have made elaborate security arrangements for ongoing Muharram majalis and the processions to be taken out in the city from 7th to 10th Muharram.
According to City Police Officer (CPO) Ahsan Younas, 6,000 to 9,000 police personnel would be deployed to ensure the security of 1,925 majalis and 447 traditional processions including the five main mourning processions.
"As many as 9,000 cops would be deployed on Ashura to ensure the security of the mourners,” he said, adding that two companies of the army and Rangers each would also be deployed for the security of mourners on 7th and 10th of Muharram.
The CPO said that in view of a terrorism threat, special security arrangements have been put in place for Muharram in the Rawalpindi district.
A three-layer security cover would be provided particularly to the main Muharram processions with the special deployment of personnel of Quick Response Force (QRF) on rooftops of commercial and residential buildings at sensitive places.
The police officer said that foolproof security arrangements had been finalised for the five main processions which have regional participation of the mourners, including Sian Sadiq procession from Sadiqabad and the 10th Muharram procession starting from Satellite Town and culminating at Imam Bargah Qadeemi and for the 11th Muharram procession, starting from Naseerabad and culminating at Westridge.
Read Over 5,000 cops deputed for Muharram security
“All-out efforts are being made to ensure strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government whether they are for coronavirus or for the Muharram processions,” he said, adding that no one would be allowed to take the law into their hands.
The CPO maintained that a special contingency plan has also been formulated and the training of all volunteers was also completed at the Police Lines. Vetting of all the volunteers had been done through the Special Branch and they have been issued proper identification cards, he said, adding that without the identification card no one would be allowed to serve as a volunteer.
“No person would be allowed to carry a weapon during Muharram processions,” he stated, adding that a skeleton police duty has also been ensured outside all main Imambargahs.
Police would not allow anybody to organize a new Muharram procession strict action would be taken against violators, he said. A total of 1,766 majalis would be organised in the district in the first 10 days of Muharram while 316 processions, including 270 traditional and 46 licenced one would be taken out.
“Under the security plan, security personnel of the Special Branch, Elite Force, Frontier Constabulary and lady police personnel would be deployed to ensure security during Muharram. A special 24/7 control room had also been set up,” the official informed, adding that police were ensuring to avert any untoward incident in the district.
The CPO further said that strict monitoring of the processions, particularly five main processions, would be conducted through close circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed on routes of main Zuljinnah processions and places where majalis are being held.
He added that special contingents of commandos and police officials would also be deployed on 109 trouble points while walk-through gates would be installed for main Muharram processions.
Police officials would use metal detectors along with volunteers to be deployed at entrance gates of Imambargahs and mourning processions. Strict checking of vehicles would also be made at entry and exit points of the city, he said.
Parking of vehicles and motorcycles would be banned along routes of the mourning processions while all traffic on these routes would be diverted.
The CPO said peace committees comprising ulema (religious scholars) of various sects had been formed while the district administration had banned the entry of 39 Ulema belonging to different sects in the district with a view to maintaining peace and inter-faith harmony during the holy month.
“No one would be allowed to take the law into their hands and the orders of the government would be implemented in letter and spirit,” he added.