PESHAWAR, Nov 15: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have declared Peshawar, Hangu and D.I. Khan the most sensitive districts and Tank, Bannu, Kohat and Mansehra sensitive districts for the month of Muharram and decided to conduct aerial surveillance on Youm-i-Ashur to take timely action in case of emergency.

A spokesman for the provincial police told Dawn on Thursday that alone in Peshawar, 10,343 personnel of district police, Frontier Reserve Police, Elite Force, Frontier Constabulary, special police force and ex-servicemen would be deployed for Muharram.

He said a high-level meeting held late on Wednesday had made a security plan for the province to cope with the law and order situation during Muharram.

The spokesman said the participants decided to take all possible steps to ensure protection to public life and property.

According to him, 122 processions will be taken out from 65 imambargahs in Peshawar, 138 from 64 imambargahs in D.I. Khan, 15 from 24 imambargahs in Hangu, 38 from 19 imambargahs in Haripur, 23 from nine imambargahs in Tank and eight from 43 imambargahs in Kohat.

The spokesman said 377 Muharram processions would be taken out from 243 imambargahs in the province, while 1,967 personnel of different law-enforcement agencies would be deployed in Hangu, 4,297 in DI Khan, 1,194 in Tank, 1,684 in Mansehra, 3,789 in Bannu, 2,165 in Kohat and 1,052 in Haripur.

He said the policemen armed with latest weapons would be deployed on hilltops in Hangu and Kohat districts, while special squad of police commandos would conduct aerial surveillance on Muharram 9 and 10.

The spokesman said police had warned religious scholars to avoid delivering provocative speeches in sermons, misusing loudspeakers, distributing and displaying hate material, chalking on the walls and shouting sectarian slogans otherwise strict action would be taken against them.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inspector general of police Akbar Khan Hoti said he had directed police in the province to take effective precautionary security measures in their respective areas and plug all entry and exit points to stop movement of anti-state and anti-social elements.

He also asked prayer leaders and ulema of different sects to stress the need for religious harmony, brotherhood, significance of peace, tranquility and peaceful co-existence in their areas as peaceful environment was need of all.

Also in the day, police in Peshawar continued to hold meetings with elders, traders and caretakers of imambargahs and sought their proposals for maintenance of peace in their respective areas.

Speaking during separate meetings in this respect, SP (City) Asif Iqbal and DSP Haji Imtiaz said though police had finalised security arrangements for a peaceful Muharram, the people should keep a close eye on the movement of the suspected people and suspicious things on roads and streets and outside their buildings.

He also said the people should not heed rumours and contact police for their verification, while the representatives of imambargahs should keep a close liaison with the relevant police officials.

A police official said SP (City) Asif Iqbal, SP (Rural Circle) Javaid Khan, SP (Cantonment Circle) Shabeeh-i-Hussain had been given special duty, while SSP (Operations) Imran Shahid would supervise the overall security situation in Peshawar.

Meanwhile, transporters have complained that police have not informed them about the Muharram traffic plan.

“In the past, police used to hold meetings with transporters on Muharram security plan but this year, they didn’t do so,” Peshawar Urban Transport Union president Khan Zaman told Dawn.

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