PESHAWAR: All Muharram 9 processions on Monday concluded peacefully across the province, including the newly-merged tribal districts amid tight security arrangements by law enforcement agencies and police.
In sensitive districts such as Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and Hangu, the mourning processions concluded peacefully with no untoward incident reported.
In Peshawar, the man procession emerged from Imambargah Hussainia Hall in the cantonment area, passed through the traditional route and peacefully culminated at the same Imambargah. Thousands of mourners along with children and women participated in the mourning processions and congregations.
Mourners offered their prayers at Kalabari Fawara Chowk and offered special dua for progress and prosperity of Pakistan, Muslims Ummah, independence of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) and martyrs of Karbala.
Muharram processions routes were sealed and the movement of unwanted people was restricted. Police, Quick Response Force (QRF), Elite Force and other law enforcing agencies were deployed along the procession routes to guard against any mishaps.
Chief City Police Officer (CCPO) Karim Khan also visited Hussainia Hall Imambargah in Peshawar’s cantonment to review security arrangements. He stated that Ashura processions on Muharram 10 will be monitored through aerial surveillance while stringent security will be provided.
The CCPO said that all small and large congregations have been provided with security in the provincial capital. For this purpose, he said that more than 12,000 policemen have been deployed, including lady constables, in Peshawar for the security of processions.
Moreover, he said that closed-circuited television cameras (CCTV) were also installed in several places across the provincial capital including key locations such as procession routes.
Karim said that they set up nearly 64 entry points in the city where 268 policemen were deployed while barricades were put in place at 565 points to check suspicious people.
Emergency has been declared at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) for Muharram 9 and Muharram 10, where six operation theatres have been specially established and 16 ambulances have been dedicated for dealing with any emergency besides keeping 422 staffers including doctors and paramedics are on high alert.
A command and control room has also been set up in the hospital for the two days which has been connected with the police department’s control room.
LRH Hospital Director Dr Khalid Masud is leading the team and monitoring the Emergency Department especially while additional CCTV cameras were also installed in the ward a few days ago
Partial suspension of cellular services
Like in many parts of the province, cellular services were partially suspended in Peshawar on Monday.
The services were suspended in areas through which Muharram processions were to pass through as a precautionary measure.
Based on a recommendation from the Peshawar police, the interior ministry has directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to partially suspend cellular services near main Muharram processions on both Muharram 9 and 10.
Crackdown on tinted glasses
The traffic police have launched a crackdown against the use of tinted glasses in vehicles in the provincial capital. For this purpose, Chief Traffic Officer Kashif Zulfiqar constituted teams on different roads including Hayatabad, Kohat Road, Grand Trunk Road and Charsadda Road remove tinted glasses. Traffic Police Headquarters SP Fazal Ahmed Jan is supervising the operation in the wake of security arrangements for Muharram processions.
Traffic police officers issued tickets to several motorists and directed drivers to avoid the use of tinted glasses due to security reasons.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2019.