IGP Nasir Khan Durrani asked police to establish a three-tier security filter, where participants could be checked prior to entering a procession site or an Imambargah during Muharram. Presiding over a high-level security meeting, held at Central Police Office (CPO) on Monday, Durrani said all processions should be monitored electronically.
He requested DPOs and RPOs from across the province to develop fool-proof security arrangements.
Officials present at the meeting were informed 429 mourning processions, with 129 vulnerable spots along the routes, and 940 majalis are expected across the province during Muharram. Participants were also informed Peshawar, Kohat, Hangu and DI Khan have been declared highly sensitive areas.
IGP informed participants all processions would be monitored electronically using recently developed software. This software was provided to all districts and enables police officers to monitor events in real time.
Read: Muharram security: Reports regarding sensitive places to be compiled
He directed police to record all processions using surveillance cameras that use Android-based software. They were told to curb hate speeches and pamphlet distributions in their respective jurisdictions. In addition, no food or drinks will be allowed in and around the procession and majalis venues. The IGP made it clear that no deviation, with respect to routes of processions, will be tolerated.
“All hotels should be strictly checked and locals should be prohibited from boarding any strangers in their homes,” Durrani said, adding women police must be deployed. Negligent policemen, who do not wear bulletproof jackets and helmets, will be punished.
“Police should be deployed on hilltops and residents should be prohibited from standing on rooftops to view the procession,” said Durrani. Police officials were directed to hold meetings with relevant civil departments to ensure all events go smoothly.
The police chief specified that security arrangements adopted for Muharram will be checked through a special branch of police and in case of any lapses, DPOs will be held responsible.
Peshawar alone has 67 imambargahs, where 121 processions will be held on different days of Muharram.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2015.