KARACHI: As many as 10,000 law enforcers will guard the citizens of Karachi during the Eidul Fitr prayers today.
Eid prayers will be held at more than 500 locations, including mosques, Eidgahs and open areas, 50 of which have been declared sensitive. The main congregations will be held at the old Polo Ground, Nishtar Park, T-Ground in Federal-B Area, and Eidgah Nazimabad.
Sources in the police informed The Express Tribune that intelligence agencies have warned the police about possible terrorist activities during Eidul Fitr. They fear Eid congregations may become terrorist targets. Intelligence agencies have asked the departments concerned to take extraordinary measures to avoid any untoward incident.
The Sindh Police has, however, finalised its contingency plan to ensure security on Eidul Fitr and has directed law enforcement agencies to remain on high alert. Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali has directed officials to make foolproof security arrangements, with special security being provided at mosques and imambargahs.
"Deployment of policemen in plainclothes should be ensured," said Jamali in his statement. He also ordered searches to be conducted at the entry and exit points of the city and improvements in snap-checking.
Former Karachi police chief, Ghulam Qadir Thebo, ordered an increase in the deployment of policemen on motorcycles, as well as effective patrolling by police vans. He also directed the deployment of policemen on routes leading to graveyards. Thebo was removed from his post shortly after issuing these directives.
Apart from Eidul Fitr congregations, security personnel will also be deployed near five-star hotels, government and foreign installations, public places and beaches, while officers in plain clothes will be deputed at all sensitive areas where close circuit cameras have also been installed.
The holidays of all policemen have been cancelled and law enforcers have been ordered to enhance patrolling and snap-checking and remain vigilant in view of intelligence agencies' reports about criminal and terrorist activities.
According to the security plan, more than 5,000 policemen will be on patrol during Eid holidays. Station house officers (SHOs) will be responsible for the security of places of worship. They will be provided additional manpower on request for patrolling and the general security of Eid congregations. Police pickets have already been erected at all entry and exit points of the city to check vehicles. The Bomb Disposal Squad will also remain available on short notice and all public places, parks and playgrounds will be strictly monitored.
The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has pledged to provide uninterrupted water supply and assured un-choked sewerage lines throughout the city during Eidul Fitr.
KWSB's spokesperson said that emergency centres have been setup to ensure proper water supply and to manage the sewage water. "Our staff is alert and will be present in the field, even during Eid holidays," he said, assuring that the free-of-cost water tanker service would continue during Eidul Fitr.
According to him the KWSB has appealed to K-Electric to exempt their pumping stations from load-shedding. "But that's not actually happening. Even on Friday night there was a power breakdown at the Pipri pumping station at around 12:40am, which halted water supply to the city," he said.
The former KWSB managing-director, Hashim Raza Zaidi, has instructed that all the Eidgahs, mosques, Imambargahs and open grounds for Eid prayers must be considered focal points of the water and sewerage board.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2015.
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