Religious fervour: Ninth Muharram passes peacefully in province

Security remained on high alert along procession routes in major cities.


A Muharram procession that left Hussainia Imambargah passes through Saddar Road in Peshawar. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS

KHAIRPUR/ PESHAWAR/ DI KHAN:


Muharram 9 was observed with religious zeal amid tight security arrangements across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday.


Peshawar

The largest mourning procession in the city began simultaneously at Saian Zareen, Kamar bin Hashim and Bibi Sahiba imambargahs and converged on GT Road. Like every year, it marched towards Gulbahar, Hashtnagri all the way to Kabuli.

Around 2,000 men, women and children participated in the procession.

Reserve police, police volunteers, Frontier Constabulary (FC), Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) and Hussania Scouts also assisted law enforcement agencies.

“The city is virtually sealed as blocks have been placed in various areas and police have been deployed alongside procession routes,” a police official told The Express Tribune. Policemen had been equipped with metal detectors for frisking and helicopters had been deployed for aerial surveillance.

Another notable procession, led by Maulana Mushtaq Hussain Mufakari, left Hussania Hall Imambargah in Saddar and made its way towards Kali Bari, Fowara Chowk before circling back to the imambargah. Cantonment was also completely sealed off and the police had established a separate command centre in Saddar.

Haripur

Muharram processions made their way through the city of Haripur under the watchful eye of law enforcement agencies. Self-flagellating mourners marched from Imamia Sajjadia Mohallah Motiyan to Jafri House on Saen Sehaili Road.

Dr Hasnain Raza Turabi spoke on the occasion and shed light on the sacrifices of Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions.

To ensure the security of the mourners, the district administration deployed heavy contingents of police, Quick Response Force (QRF) and volunteers with metal detectors. Around 350 military personnel also remained on alert to provide back up.

Various processions took places in Mankaraye, Julian, Sultanpur and Tofkiyan amid tight security.

DI Khan

Religious observances culminated in DI Khan city peacefully without any untoward incidents. All government and private institutions remained closed in DI Khan and traffic remained minimal while cellular services were also suspended. Pakistan Army and police provided security for mourners. Section 144 remained enforced under which display of weapons, motorbike riding and use of loudspeakers was prohibited.

Muharram processions took place in Lano Faqir, Hyder Shah, Sherazi and Tala Jath areas. The mourners gathered at Kotli Imambargah where notable religious clerics gave sermons.

In Parowa tehsil, processions ended peacefully in Babar Paka, Lunda Para, Khana Sharif, and Haji Mura.

“The bomb disposal squad, sniffer dogs and CCTVs are in place to help maintain law and order,” said Shah Saeed, a police officer stationed at the Special Control Room.

Saeed added the control room had been set up to keep a vigilant eye during Muharram and its contact number has been advertised in local newspapers and radio programmes.

DI Khan has remained riddled with sectarian violence previously. In November 2012, separate blasts targeted processions on Muharram 9 and 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2013.

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