32 DI Khan schools to house police for Ashura security

DC office notification confirms militant attack threat; provincial capital on high alert

Ramzan Seemab September 08, 2019
A mourner kisses the Zuljinah, a symbol of Hazrat Imam Hussain’s (RA) horse in Karbala, as a mark of reverence on the 7th of Muharram at the Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar. PHOTO: APP

DI KHAN: The district administration in Dera Ismail Khan has requisitioned 32 schools in the district for stationing police and security forces being deployed for Muharram security.

Schools across the province have closed for the weekend and Ashura holidays from September 7 to 10 and during this time, the administration will use the vacant premises for police and troops performing security duties.

Officials said that intelligence reports suggest militants could carry out attacks in the DI Khan, a district prone to sectarian violence and targeted attack beside Kurram tribal district and Kohat in the south of the province.

A notification issued from the office of DI Khan deputy commissioner on Saturday read that after report field by the district intelligence coordination committee of the threats from the militants and in the interest of the general public 32 schools within the district will remain closed until Muharram 10, while the security personnel and police will remain in these school for during off duties.

Meanwhile, the district police officer has asked the media people and local journalists to visibly hang their identity cards and security clearances cards for covering the Muharram procession in the district.

Kurram routes sealed

Meanwhile, in Kurram tribal district, all routes toward the mourning processions would remain close on Muharram 9 and 10, while special measures have been adopted for maintaining law and order situation in the district.

The district administration has held several meeting with the all religious fictions of the district for cooperation in the ten days of the holy month of the Islamic year and all have shown commitments to their words.

In Hangu and Kohat the district administration has also chalked out security plans.

Security agencies will put sharpshooters on rooftops along the routes of mourning processions to diffuse any identified threat in seconds.

High alert in Peshawar

The security has been beefed up for the last three days of Muharram as senior police officials said 12,000 policemen have been deployed in the provincial capital under a comprehensive security plan.

The entry points to the district particularly the urban areas have been further strengthened and the closed-circuited television cameras (CCTV) installed in a number of places to monitor any suspicious activity.

Apart from the regular police, policewomen and officials in civvies have been deployed in different parts of Peshawar to keep a check on suspicious movement.

Concrete blocks have been placed on a number of routes of processions in a bid to tighten security.

An official said foolproof security measures had been taken for observing peaceful Ashura in the provincial capital.

Even before Muharram, the conducted 237 searches and strike operations in different parts of the city to arrested suspects.

According to Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Karim Khan, the police have set up 64 entry points in the city where 268 policemen have been deployed.

Besides, barricades were put up at 565 points in the provincial capital to check suspicious people.

The official continued that 42 points have also been set up in the provincial capital where police and security forces will be deployed with LMGs and SMGs.

The CCPO said that CCTVs have been installed on the routes of the processions for which a central control room has been set up at the Khan Raziq Police Station. He said the routes are being swept by the Bomb Disposal Unit and the Canine Unit.

“Apart from deploying armoured personnel carriers, the rapid response force, anti-terrorism force and other forces have also been deployed in different areas.

The processions will also be monitored through drone cameras while a letter has been sent for suspending mobile phone signals on 9th and 10th of Muharram,” an official said.

The official appreciated the efforts of the army and the district administration in ensuring foolproof security measures for Muharram.

(With additional input by APP)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2019.

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