Hundreds of congregations and processions were underway here last night as Eid Miladun Nabi (peace be upon him) was celebrated enthusiastically.
Streets and markets around the city were decorated with ribbons and buntings. Government buildings including the Civil Secretariat and the Assembly Chambers were decorated with colourful lights. Around 8,000 policemen were on security duty at 162 congregations and 150 processions. Forty-five of these were declared most at risk of attack. The main processions started at the Township Main Bazaar, Mughalpura and Baghbanpura. More than 250 people joined a Jamia Hizbul Ahnaaf procession starting at Data Darbar and ending at Regal Chowk. The participants carried torches and set off fireworks from Karbala Gamay Shah.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sarfraz Falki told The Express Tribune that tight security was being maintained at the processions and congregations. Gatherings deemed most at risk of attack were being given a three-tier security system, he said.
The Model Town SP said that there were 33 Milad congregations in his area and four were in the high risk category. He said 800 security personnel had been deployed at these congregations. Eight main Milad congregation programmes were held in Cantonment Division, while 250 security personnel guarded more than 100 congregations in the Civil Lines area.
The main markets in Bhati, Lohari and Krishan Nagar were decorated with ribbons and lights. Youngsters held up traffic by stopping vehicles and demanding money so they could buy decorations. All shrines and mosques were decorated with lights.
Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman and MNA Sahabzada Fazle Karim said that the council would stage more than a thousand processions in Pakistan. He said that neither the federal government nor the provincial government had consulted them when chalking out the security plans. He said he was unhappy with the security arrangements made for the occasion and appealed to council workers to play their role in maintaining peace.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2012.
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