LAHORE: The main procession of 9th Muharram passed peacefully amid tight security arrangements and heightened threat alerts.
The procession started from the Pando Street Imambargah after offering Fajrain. The procession, after passing through Alamgeer Road, Chowk Noori Building, Main Bazar Karishsan Nagar, Neeli Bar Chowk, Baba Ground, Civil Secretariat, Central Police Office (CPO), Old Anarkali, Lake Road, Lytton Road and Khaima Sadat, returned to its starting point on Pando Street at night. The procession started after religious scholars of the Shia community talked of the sacrifices and mission of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA). When the procession reached Alamgir Road, the Ziyarat of ZulJinnah was brought forth.
The mourners performed Zanjeerzani on the spot and offered Namaz-e-Zuhrain near Noori Building. Afterwards, the procession started moving forward. It passed through main bazaar Islampura, Civil Secrtetrait, IG Office and reached at Old Anarkali. There, the mourners offered Maghreebain. It resumed moving ahead and reached Khaima Saadat after passing through Lytton and Lake Road.
The procession returned to its starting point using the same route at night.
Throughout the route, stalls for cold water and milk were set up, while food was distributed. Medical camps were also set up by Hussainian Scout, Rescue 1122 and the Edhi Foundation. They provided first aid treatment to those mourners who were injured.
Strict security measures were made on the occasion. The route of the procession was sealed with barbed wire, containers and barricades. Participants were allowed entry after checking at four points; physical frisking, going through metal detectors and walkthrough gates.
These were also monitored using over 370 CCTV cameras. Drone cameras were also used to look for any suspicious person or activity. There was a complete ban on pillion-riding throughout Punjab and mobile services were suspended in areas near the routes. Blockade of roads and suspension of mobile services caused a nuisance for many people.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2019.