In view of the sensitivities of Ashura in Khairpur district, strict security measures have been taken care of this year to avoid sectarian clashes and to foil any unpleasant designs of miscreants.
Khairpur ASP Masood Bangash told The Express Tribune that as many as 1,600 policemen, 300 commandos and 20 female constables have been deployed across the city. Moreover, 215 Rangers personnel and 200 soldiers of the Army will be there as a back-up force, he said.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed on the route of the procession and walkthrough gates have been set up at imambargahs and other sensitive points, he added.
The ASP further said that a control room has been established at the SSP office to monitor the procession.
In Khairpur, the main procession of Muharam takes place on Muharram 8. During yesteryears, it was observed that sectarian clashes sparked due to provocative speeches delivered from mosques and imambargahs.
The above-mentioned measures have been taken to avoid such incidents.
The procession starts from Haideri Imambargah situated near the General Post Office on Muharram 8, and marching through the main thoroughfares of the city such as Katchery Road, Mall Road, Quaid-e-Azam Chowk, Shahi Bazar, Haideri Chowk and others, terminates at the Haideri Graveyard.
More than 100 small processions from different areas of the district merge with the main procession at different points.
Shia Rabita Council leader Ali Abbas told The Express Tribune that, as compared to yesteryears, strict security measures have been taken to avoid any mishap during Ashura. Expressing his satisfaction over the security arrangements, he said that he was optimistic that Muharram will pass peacefully.
Shia Ulema Council Khairpur chapter president Allama Asad Iqbal Zaidi said that some miscreants tried to create a law and order situation, but the police and the district administration handled it tactfully.
Talking about the security arrangements, he said that they are satisfied with the arrangements and cooperation of the administration so far. Hopefully, no untoward incident will take place and Ashura will remain peaceful throughout the district, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2014.
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