The District Administration on Tuesday imposed section 144 in the city to maintain law and order ahead of the Muharram.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the district and police officials. The meeting was attended by the District Coordination Officer (DCO) Peshawar, Siraj Ahmed Khan, City Police Chief, Liaqat Ali Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations, Ijaz Ahmed and other officials.
An official handout issued by the DCO office said that under Section 144, writing and distribution of objectionable pamphlets or posters in Peshawar have been prohibited. The handout elaborated that the distribution, printing and circulating of material promoting sectarian violence, especially in mosques and Imambargahs, carrying weapons and use of tinted glass on private and public vehicles will be taken action against.
“Any one found violating this order shall be liable to be proceeded against under Section 188 of Pakistan penal code,” it said. It was stated that this order would come into force with immediate effect and will remain for 30 days.
The city will be sealed for the first 10 days of Muharram and ambulances belonging to Edhi and other organisations will not be allowed to enter the processions. Only Health Department ambulances will be on duty in the processions. The names of the ambulance drivers will be registered with the police.
The meeting was told that all the 65 Imambargahs in the city have been declared sensitive, while 32 out of 122 procession venues have been declared sensitive. A ban has also been imposed on the entry of Afghan refugees and residents of Kohat and Parachinar.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2010.