LAHORE: The city police have finalised a multi-faceted approach in order to ensure security during Muharram, particularly the mourning processions.
Sniffer dogs, walkthrough gates, metal detectors, CCTV cameras as well as plainclothes police personnel will be employed in order to foil any terrorist bids.
The Operations wing of the City Police decided on the security plan on Tuesday in a meeting chaired by Rao Sardar Ali, deputy inspector general of Police (Operations). According to the plan, over 22,000 police officials will be deputed across the city.
In addition to the men and women in uniform, 2,000 police officials in plain clothes will monitor the majalis and procession routes that have been declared sensitive.
Ali said that the majalis venue and procession routes will be secured one hour before the designated time and official of Special Branch would comb the area for any explosives or suspicious people.
“Frisking of every participant and scanning with metal detectors and walkthrough gates will be ensured, assured the DIG.
The police officer emphasised that there should only be one entrance to the mourning procession venues.
The DIG also ordered that snipers be deputed on high rise buildings situated on the route of processions.
Ali instructed the City Police not to allow armed men to participate in the majalis or processions. The deployment of Bomb Disposal Squad, doctors, ambulances and fire fighters was termed as essential by the police officer.
The DIG was informed that community volunteers will be given special security passes by the divisional SPs while vehicles carrying consecrations food (tabarrak) would be issued special stickers.
SP (Security), Muhammad Faisal Rana, in a briefing told the DIG that CCTV cameras would be installed at all entry points of the city.
He added that hotels, religious seminaries and restaurants would be cleared through search operations on a daily basis during Muharram.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2010.