Police on Saturday claimed to have devised a ‘fool proof’ plan to prevent any untoward incidents during the Youm-i-Ali procession, to mark the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (AS), on Wednesday.
Operations DIG Rai Muhammad Tahir visited Mochi Gate and the procession route, and reviewed security arrangements.
Security Superintendent Abdul Ghaffar Qaisrani said that as many as 150 police reserves -3,000 security personnel- will be deployed along the main procession. He said that walkthrough gates had been installed at three entry points to the procession route. Police sniffer dogs will also be deployed and snipers would provide overhead cover from high vantage points.
He said six SPs will supervise the security cover for the procession route which has been divided into four zones, each of which will be supervised by an SP. Two SPs will be deployed at zone four- Bhati Gate to Karbala Gamay Shah. City SP Jehanzeb Khan will supervise the entire arrangements.
SP Khan told The Express Tribune that parking points would be set up 500 to1,500 metres away from the procession route. As many as 200 volunteers from the Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Fiqh Jafria will provide assistance to the security agencies.
The procession will start at Nisar Haveli and visit Chowk Nawab Sahab, Kotwali Chowk, Kashmiri Bazaar, Rang Mehal, Paniwala Talab, Nogaza Chowk and Baazar-i-Hakeeman, Bhati Gate and end at Karbala Gamay Shah.
City Traffic Officer Sohail Chaudhry said that two traffic police SPs, six DSPs and 473 wardens would be on duty along the route. He said that the SPs had been directed to remove all encroachments and obstacles along the alternative routes of the procession. The SPs have been told to make sure that no cars or motorcycles are left parked along the alternate routes.
A source at the DIG’s office said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had chaired a meeting with the Operations DIG, the Punjab IGP, the chief secretary, the DCO, the Commissioner and other officials to review the security arrangements.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2013.