PESHAWAR: Around 12,000 security personnel will be stationed around the provincial capital to ensure security on Muharram nine and Muharram 10. Further, quick response units will be stationed outside the walled city to respond to any untoward security situation.
This was disclosed by the Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Karim Khan on Sunday as he unveiled security plans for the provincial capital. He stated that elite, police officers, special combating units, quick response units along with lady constables will be stationed along the procession routes in the city.
He further said that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be used to monitor the 61 Imam Bargahs in the provincial capital apart from monitoring key areas such as Qissa Khawani, Jahangir Pura, Kohati Gate, Kochi Bazar, Meena Bazar, Tehsil, Circular Road, Hashtnaghri, and Karimpur.
The provincial police department has also established a central command post to monitor security operations. The district health, local government, revenue departments, Rescue 1122 will also remain on high alert during the two days.
The Mardan Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ali Khan Gandapur reviewed security measures in Nowshera and Mardan and assured the community that all available resources will be utilized for establishing law and order during the two days. He also directed the police to guard all entry and exit points of the district while he also asked to cover rooftops with elite force personnel.
In Parachinar, Muharram processions and activities are underway. Tough security measures have been taken at 300 Imam Bargahs of the district.
In Dera Ismail Khan, security measures for maintaining peace have been taken while a ban has been placed on loitering and gathering around Imam Bargahs and on rooftops under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the provincial capital, Kohat, Kurram and DI Khan until after Muharram 10.
A notification issued by the respective district administrations on Sunday stated that owing to reports of militant activity, they were imposing the ban. Moreover, the district administration has decided to place security personnel on roof-tops along procession routes and near Imam Bargahs. Administration of hotels and owners of houses near such sites were asked to enforce the ban. The notification also warned hotel administration to not grant admission to suspicious guests and to check goods of guests while making entries. The notification further stated that those who would violate the section-144 order would be treated by law under the PPC-188 criminal proceedings.
To prevent the spread of gastric diseases during Muharram, an eight-member team of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Food Authority will check the quality of the Sabeel offered at stalls along the procession routes. The teams will check Sabeel stalls in DI Khan around the clock. Moreover, Rescue 1122 teams will be stationed at all sensitive locations in the provincial capital would also station for handling any untoward incidents during the procession, while a state of emergency will also be proclaimed in the major hospitals across the province.
A mock exercise was conducted at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) on Sunday on handling mishaps during Muharram processions.
LRH Director Dr Khalid Masood briefed the Rescue 1122 Director-General Dr Khateer Ahmed, AC Saira Rehman, LRH Emergency Director Dr Hamid Shehzad, security manager and others.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2019.