KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved the installation of additional CCTV used during the general elections and directed the law enforcement agencies to deploy large numbers of police and Rangers personnel across the Sindh to ensure foolproof security arrangements during Muharram majalis and processions. The CM has also asked to keep 52 companies of the Pakistan Army on standby so they may be called in case of any emergency.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Adviser to CM Murtaza Wahab, Rangers DG Major General Omer Ahmed Bukhari, Sindh Police Chief IGP Dr Kaleem Imam, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Additional IG Ghulam Nabi Memon, Counter-Terrorism Department Additional IG Kamran Fazal, Special Branch Additional IG Imran Minhas, Local Government Secretary Khalid Hyder Shah, sector commanders of intelligence agencies, provincial head of Intelligence Bureau, Col M Nasir of Corps V, Col Faisal and other relevant officers.
The chief minister said that during the last three years, no major incident had taken place in the province. "This shows that the political will of the government, hard work of law enforcement agencies - the police, Rangers and intelligence agencies and their sacrifices have produced the best results in terms of restoration of law and order in the city," he said. The CM, however, expressed his reservations over the targeted killing of a doctor in the city. "This shows that we have done the best work for the restoration of law and order in the city but still we have a lot to do," he said. "We will have to work in the same spirit and coordinated manner till the existence of the last outlaw in the city," he said.
Muharram moon sighted, Ashura on September 10
Rangers DG Major General Omer Ahmed Bukhari told the meeting that the route of the main Muharram procession has become a little longer due to the development work in progress at MA Jinnah Road from Numaish Chowrangi till Tibet Centre. He said that 7,700 Rangers personnel would be deployed for the security of the Muharram processions.
The Rangers DG said that 3,400 personnel would be deployed in East Zone, 600 in West Zone, 400 in Mirpurkhas division, 600 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 1,000 at Sukkur and 1,700 in Larkana division.
Maj General Bukhari also said that 52 army companies would be deployed across the province, including 14 in Karachi, five in Hyderabad, four in Mirpurkhas, three in Shaheed Benazirabad, 10 in Sukkur and 16 in Larkana divisions.
IGP Dr Imam said that there were 2,015 imambargahs in the province, including 590 in Hyderabad, 464 in Larkana, 374 in Sukkur, 342 in Karachi, 138 in Mirpurkhas and 107 in Shaheed Benazirabad divisions. He added that there would be 15,971 majalis all over Sindh, of which 1,408 had been classified as most sensitive and 5,199 sensitive.
The IGP said that 71,485 policemen and women would perform security duties during Muharram across the province. Of these 7,044 would be part of the mobile force, 52,725 would be static, 6,539 to be deployed at police pickets and 5,177 would be part of the reserve foce.
Dr Imam added that 3,793 police mobiles, Armoured Personnel Carriers and motorcycles would be part of the deployment in Sindh. Of these, 1,652 would be deployed in Karachi, 934 in Hyderabad division, 210 in Mirpurkhas, 249 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 305 in Sukkur and 443 in Larkana division.
In Sindh, 6,288 Matmi processions are taken out, of which 439 have been declared most sensitive and 1,788 sensitive. Besides, 737 Tazia processions are held.
The police chief told the meeting that air surveillance of 21 sites in Karachi, six sites in Hyderabad division, one in Shaheed Benazirabad, seven in Sukkur and five in Larkana division would be conducted starting from Muharram 8. Similarly, 93 mobile phone jammers would be installed across Sindh. Around 856 containers have been procured to block roads leading to the processions.
According to the Sindh Police chief, 1,022 traffic police personnel would be deployed across the province, including five SSPs, 11 DSPs, 13 inspectors, 164 head-constables and 495 police constables.
Karachi Police chief AIG Ghulam Nabi Memon briefed the meeting about the security plan for the port city. He said that the Muharram 9 procession starts at 12 noon from Nishtar Park. The procession would travel along the route of Nishtar Park, Guru Mandir - New MA Jinnah Road and the Zuhr prayer would be offered at the VVIP Gate of the Quaid's mausoleum. The procession would then pass through Peoples Roundabout, New MA Jinnah Road, Saddar Dawakhana, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Tibet Center, Plastic Market and culminate at Hussainian Iraninan Imambargah. There would be over 30,000 mourners in the procession.
With regards to the Muharram 10 procession, AIG Memon said that it would start from Nishtar Park. It would take the same route but the Zuhr prayer would be offered at Tibet Center at 1:30pm. The procession would end at Hussainian Iranian Imambrgah at 6pm. The AIG added that there would be approximately 50,000 mourners in the procession.
AIG Memon said that keeping in view the potential threats, walk-through gates would be installed and police personnel would be deployed on the rooftops of nearby buildings. The bomb disposal squad would sweep the areas and all the entry points to the procession would be kept under strict vigilance.
He said that ambulances and other escorting vehicles have been issued security passes. Media vans would also bear stickers and security passes. There would be heavy deployment of police personnel at the head and tail ends of the processions. An officer of SP level would lead the procession and maintain close coordination with leaders of the Shia community and members of their Peace Committee. Around 167 rooftops and buildings along the route of the procession would be guarded by 334 police personnel.
The movement of the procession would be monitored through CCTV cameras from the Command and Control Center and there would also be mobile CCTVs vans to cover the procession.
The meeting was informed that between Muharram 1 and Muharram 10, there would be 6,028 majalis in the city, which would be guarded by 1,073 policemen.
Ban on pillion riding
The chief minister approved the ban on pillion riding to be enforced from the night of Muharram 8. He directed the police chief to start snap checking across the province.
Shah said that he was not in favour of the ban on pillion riding but the killing of a doctor by two motorcyclists had forced him to take the decision.
Commissioner Shallwani, while briefing the meeting, said that he has constituted a peace committee that has met all the deputy commissioners and have also held meetings with him. He said that he had directed the authorities to ensure the repair of roads along the route of the procession as well as the provision of water and power to the areas.
Home Secretary Kazi Kabir told the meeting about the code of conduct has been shared with the district administration and that peace committees have been formed in every district where meetings are in progress.
Muharram moon sighted, Ashura on September 10
He said that he has directed all the deputy commissioners to keep the areas of majalis and Moharram processions neat and clean and provide the mourners all possible facilities.
Kabir said that 484 troubled spots or flash points have been identified across Sindh. He explained that 245 of these flash points were located in Karachi, 31 in Hyderabad, 33 in Mirpurkhas, 12 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 72 in Sukkur and 91 in Larkana divisions. He added that the deployment of the police and Rangers personnel would be made accordingly, for which he was coordinating with the law enforcement agencies.
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