The Punjab Police have declared Multan the most sensitive district in the province, the anniversary of Hazrat Ali’s (RA) martyrdom, City Police Officer Amir Zulfiqar Khan said on Wednesday.
He said the police had completed the security plan for the city and deployed some 3,200 policemen under the security schedule for the three-day mourning processions. He said two major processions will be taken out in city on August 10, each expected to have more than 100,000 mourners.
He said that open sabeels (water offering) and niaz (charity food) stalls had been banned. Police will inspect any food offering distribution, he said.
Pillion riding has not been banned. The CPO said he had been monitoring the arrangements himself and will visit the various sites during the three-day processions. He said some 1,200 citizens had volunteered to help.
“We want to provide a secure environment for the mourners,” he said.
In the last three days, he said, Multan police had foiled more than 20 terrorism plots around Youm-i-Ali. He said the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan was believed to be behind these plans. He said more than 30 men, allegedly belonging to the TTP, had been arrested in the last six months from southern Punjab.
DCO Zahid Akhtar Zaman said he was satisfied with the security arrangements. He said the arrangements were finalised after meetings with local religious leaders and law enforcement agencies.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.