Amid rigorous security, religious fervor and weak Covid SOPs compliance, thousands of people participated in mourning processions on Tuesday to mark the martyrdom of Hazarat Ali.
Women, children, and people without facemasks were excused from the procession, which traversed its traditional route from Nishtar Park then on to MA Jinnah Road. Containers were placed on either sides of MA Jinnah Road to ensure security.
The procession culiminated peacefully at Husainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar area without any untoward incident being reported.
Earlier, a mourning ceremony was held at Nishtar Park at 7am in the morning. There, Allama Shahenshah Hussain Naqvi, while addressing the gathering, shed light on the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) and described the virtues of Hazrat Ali (RA).
After the majlis, the procession emerged with the BuTurab Scouts in the lead. It passed through its traditional routes, Numaish Chowrangi, Sea Breeze Plaza, Saddar, Regal Chowk, Tibet Center, and Radio Pakistan, ended at Imambargah Hussainiya Iranian in Kharadar.
Strict security arrangements were made on the occasion. Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed for the security of the central procession. Markets and shops on the way of the procession were sealed while the streets were closed with containers. Snipers were also deployed on rooftops at selected spots to neutralise any threat. Moreover, bomb disposal squad swept the area along the procession's route and the majlis ground for ensuring the safety of the mourners.
People were allowed to enter only through walkthrough metal detector gates.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2021.