Tight security: Yaum-e-Ali (RA) procession takes place peacefully

Security measures included robots used to sweep for bombs

A large number of people participated in the Yaum-e-Ali (RA) procession on Thursday. Due to security threats, the police used a robot to sweep the route for bombs. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AZEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The central procession to mark the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) culminated peacefully at Imambargah Hussainian Iranian, Kharadar, amid tight security on Thursday.

Strict security measures were taken to avert any possible attempt to sabotage the proceedings, as more than 10,000 policemen and Rangers were deployed at the central procession and other Yaum-e-Ali (RA) related gatherings in the city.

The main route of the central procession was sealed with containers and heavy vehicles. Police commandos and snipers were also deployed on high-rise buildings to protect the mourners. Besides the deployment of the law enforcers, for the first time, special robots, which were gifted by the United States and Britain to the Sindh Police, were also used to sweep the procession route for bombs. These robots have the capability to defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and are controlled through specialised vans.

Several smaller processions, which originated from different parts of the city, converged at Nishtar Park into the central procession where noted scholar Allama Majid Raza Abidi addressed the crowd.

In his address, Allama Abidi highlighted various aspects of the life of Hazrat Ali (RA). He said that Hazrat Ali (RA) was brought up under the shadow of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) which is why he is considered a treasurer of knowledge and a symbol of tolerance, bravery, generosity and eloquence even today. The scholar said that Hazrat Ali (RA) had played an important role in serving Islam, bravely confronting the enemies of the religion and Sharia, while shattering the foundations of oppression, brutality and suppression till his martyrdom.

After the majlis, the procession set off from Nishtar Park under the leadership of the Abu-Turab Scouts. It passed through MA Jinnah Road where participants offered their Zuhr prayers led by Maulana Razi Haider. The arrangements for the prayers were organised by the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO). After the prayers, the mourners staged a demonstration, led by the ISO. The procession restarted from MA Jinnah Road and made its way towards the traditional destination, passing through Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Preedy Street and Kharadar before ending peacefully at Imambargah Hussainian Iranian.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.