Sindh CM orders security audit of 86 shrines

Army seals Saddaruddin Badshah's shrine near Sukkur


Sarfaraz Memon/hafeez Tunio February 18, 2017
Murad Ali Shah cautioned police to "be alert, active and efficient" and that "negligence will not be tolerated". Photo: Shahid Ali/Express

KARACHI/ SUKKUR: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed on Saturday law enforcement agencies to begin security audit of 86 shrines in collaboration with the police's special branch.

Chairing a law and order meeting at CM House, Shah directed police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest the culprits of Sehwan incident without delay. "No one will rest until perpetrators are caught," he remarked.

Sehwan doctors recall scenes of horror

At least 88 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine on Thursday.

Shah cautioned police to "be alert, active and efficient to resolve this issue," saying "negligence will not be tolerated".

He also constituted a committee comprising Jamshoro deputy commissioner, the SSP and officials of the Auqaf department to review security arrangements of shrines and submit a report to him every month.

"Not only shrines, but we need strict security measures for temples and churches also as terrorists can also target these places," Shah observed, referring to intelligence reports about possible attacks on minorities' places of worship.

World condemns Sehwan attack

The CM also asked commissioner Karachi to tighten security for Bohri and Aga Khan Jamaat members, when intelligence officials drew his attention towards the possibility of them becoming a soft target of terrorists.

Earlier, Sindh CM received briefing from Sindh IG and Hyderabad commissioner on the progress made to improve the security situation in the province.

The Counter-Terrorism Department AIG, Sindh chief secretary and officials of intelligence agencies also attended the meeting.

Security has been tightened across the country with a crackdown also taking place to nab culprits behind recent terror incidents. On Friday, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif chaired a meeting of security officials wherein he stated that the facilitator of attack in Lahore that claimed 13 lives had been caught and the bomber has been identified.

FIR lodged

First Information Report (FIR) of the terrorist attack was lodged on state's behalf at Sehwan police station, nominating five unknown suspects including the suicide bomber. The suspects provided reconnaissance and support to the bomber in executing the attack at 7:01 pm.

The sections in the FIR include 302, 353, 324, 295, 440, 120/B and 149 Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 6/7 and Explosives Act 3/4. The case was lodged at 6:30 pm on Friday.

Army seals dargah of Syed Saddaruddin Badshah

Meanwhile, the army has sealed the dargah of Hazrat Syed Saddaruddin Badshah situated between Sukkur and Rohri. Army Public School, Sukkur, and Bakhar Island, owned by the armed forces, are located near the shrine.

Security has been stepped up at shrines across the province while extensive search operations are being conducted. In the aftermath of the suicide bomb blast at the shrine in Sehwan Sharif, Sukkur DIG Captain (retd) Feroze Shah along with the Rangers commander and Sukkur SSP visited on Friday different shrines, imambargahs and mosques and ordered the tightening of security.

Sukkur SSP Amjad Ahmed Shaikh told The Express Tribune that the shrine of Saddaruddin Shah Badshah has been sealed by the Pakistan Army for the time being to avert any untoward incident. Besides this, security has been stepped up at other shrines, including Jeay Shah Badshah in Old Sukkur, Hajna Shah Hazoori, Bedil Bekus and others in Rohri, he said.

Besides this, police and Rangers personnel conducted combing operations in different localities, including Adam Shah Colony and New Goth, and arrested more than 20 suspects. According to the SSP, during door-to-door search operations in the slums of Adam Shah, New Goth and Saleem Colony near Islamia College, more than 20 suspects have been arrested, who are being interrogated. He said that people belonging to different areas have settled in these areas and their relatives from different parts of the country often visit them, which is why combing operations were carried out there. Giving examples of Shikarpur and Jacobabad bomb blasts, the SSP said the terrorists have come from other parts of the country. “Therefore, we don’t want to take any risk.”

In Khairpur district, security has been tightened at the shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Sachal Sarmast, where a large number of people come from different parts of the country to pay homage to the haft zaban poet [poet of seven languages]. However, a Gambat-based reporter said that only two to three policemen have been deployed at the shrine while neither lady constables nor CCTV cameras have been provided. Asghar Thebo, the personal staff officer of the Khairpur SSP, nevertheless maintained that security has been tightened at the shrine of Hazrat Sachal Sarmast. He denied news about sealing the shrine.

A large number of devotees visit the shrine of Saddaruddin Shah Badshah from the across the country, especially on Thursdays. A large number of people also visit the shrines of Hajna Shah Hazoori and Bedil Bekus on Thursdays and Fridays. People from far-flung areas throng to Rohri to have a glimpse of War Mubarak shrine, which has the hair of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), on every Friday. The SSP said that keeping in view the number of people rushing to these sites, security at War Mubarak shrine and Imambargah Karbala has been tightened.

COMMENTS (1)

Saleem | 4 years ago | Reply How many places government will try to secure? Not many to protect everyone out there. What is needed is to go after terrorist, their safe heavens, madrasas, and all those who breed them and provide them sanctuaries. Eradicate all of them, top to bottom.
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