Security at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine tightened for 758th urs


July 25, 2010

HYDERABAD: A comprehensive plan has been devised for the security of over one million people - almost five times the total number of residents in Sehwan - who are likely to visit the shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA) at his urs, said Jamshoro District Police Officer (DPO) Furrukh Bashir and special branch SP Muhammad Ali at a press conference on Friday.

One SP and three DSPs will work in eight-hour shifts to ensure security in the area, said Bashir, who added that President Asif Ali Zardari has issued special directives to the Sindh IG in this regard.

Vehicles will be banned from entering Sehwan during the 758th urs of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA). More than 4,500 law enforcers will be deployed in a three-tier security cordon around the area on the evening of July 26, the officials revealed, adding that visitors will also be banned from bringing weapons into Sehwan under Section 144.

People and vehicles moving towards Sehwan will be checked at Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Moro and Dadu. This will form the ‘outermost cordon’, while the second cordon will be set up at Laki Shah, Saddar and Sakhia Mori link road, said Bashir.

The innermost cordon will cover the municipal limits of Sehwan, where two large parking lots have been established for public transport vehicles, he said, adding that the men and women devotees will enter the shrine from separate gates, where metal detectors will be installed for complete “physical checks”.

Trains will be checked at the Bhansaeedabad and Nawabshah railway stations, while around 500 to 600 security personnel will monitor the traffic, said Bashir. He added that a traffic police official will also be brought in from Karachi to ensure that the traffic flow remains smooth.

Vehicles headed towards other destinations will be diverted towards the entry and exit points in Jamshoro and Moro, while a shuttle service will be provided to people who wish to travel between the yellow and red security zones in Sehwan.

Apart from the police, intelligence personnel will also be deployed at Hyderabad, Kotri, Sehwan and Nawabshah railway stations, while all hotels will also be searched before the commencement of the urs.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2010.

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