Cellular services to be suspended during Ashura

RCB completes patchwork along procession routes

Our Correspondent August 17, 2021


The government has decided to suspend cellular phone service during the Muharram processions. The 3G/4G service will remain suspended in areas along the route of the main processions during Youm-e-Ashura.

Sources said the decision to shut down mobile service was taken at a high-level security meeting and a directive in this respect has been sent to the service providers as well.

A senior police official, who is part of the team to provide security for the public gatherings on the occasion who talked to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that the Muharram 7 to Muharram 10 processions have been placed in the A-plus category.

He said that Muharram 7 procession starting from Saeen Sadiq’s house and Youm-e-Ashura cortege starting from Imam Bargah Ashiq Hussain also fall in the above category.

The police official said that cellular phone services would be suspended on Muharram 7 from 5 am until the procession culminates. He added that the procession will end at Qadeemi Imam Bargah after passing through its traditional routes.

Similarly, the procession starting from Imam Bargah Ashiq Hussain will culminate at the same point on Youm-e-Ashura. The official said that cellular service will be suspended in certain areas including Syedpur Road, Pandora, Asghar Mall Road, Pir Wadhai Bus Stand, City Saddar Road, Kashmiri Bazaar, Iqbal Road, Liaquat Road, Gawalmandi, Raja Bazaar, Dengue Khoi, Bazaar Kalan, Jamia Masjid Road, Bani Chowk, Commercial Market, Murree Road, Committee Chowk, Rata Amral, Sadiqabad, Glass Factory Chowk, Zafarul Haq Road, Shaheen Chowk, Transformer Chowk and its close vicinity.

Sources said that the police have started placing containers and heavy vehicles to close access to bazaars, streets, roads and neighbourhoods on the processional routes. The administration will provide alternative routes to ensure the security of the processions.

Sources said the suspension of mobile service will not affect the wireless system of police and security agencies but would affect CCTV-equipped vehicles depending on mobile 3G/4G internet.

For this purpose, the police have arranged additional recordings to ensure coverage of the main processions.

Sources added that mobile service will remain closed till the end of all A-plus category processions.

Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has finalised arrangements for Ashura, besides completing patchwork at the routes of mourning processions, repairing roads, street lights and removal of encroachments.

According to RCB spokesperson, Qaiser Mahmood, the RCB’s anti-encroachment team was conducting operations daily to clear different areas while the Board confiscated 11 truckload goods under its special operation against encroachment conducted during last week.

Read Govt announces two-day public holiday on Aug 18-19 for Ashura

He said that the RCB’s anti-encroachment teams conducted raids in different areas, including Tench Bhatta, Peoples Colony, Dhoke Syedan, Bakra Mandi Road, Misrial Road, Allahabad, Westridge Bazar, Mehfooz Road, Haider Road, Bank Road, Adam Jee Road, Hathi Chowk, Chor Chowk, Saddar and other areas.

He added that special instructions had been issued to the officials concerned that there should be no encroachment, particularly on the route of Muharram processions.

The operation would continue and strict action in accordance with the law would be taken against the rules violators, he said, adding that the patchwork, especially at the route of the Muharram processions, had been completed.

Street lights along the routes of the mourning processions had also been repaired besides special cleanliness arrangements to facilitate the mourners.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2021.


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