KARACHI, Jan 2: The city police on Wednesday sealed off the route of processions marking Imam Hussain’s Chehlum on Thursday in south district and banned traffic movement on M.A. Jinnah Road and adjoining areas under strict security measures, including rooftop deployment of snipers and sweeping of the procession route by sniffer dogs, said a statement.

“Arrangements have been made for advance sweeping of Chehlum processions organised in all three zones – south, west and east,” said the central police office statement. “Video recordings of the main and other processions will be done, which will be monitored through the command and control centre at the CPO and the same temporary facility at the Nishtar Park.”

The Chehlum procession will be taken out from Nishtar Park at 1pm. Before that an Alam procession will head out from the Martin Road Imambargah at 9am to culminate at Nishtar Park. A Majlis will be held at Nishtar Park, after which the procession scheduled for 1pm will march towards the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.

The traffic police have already announced elaborate alternative traffic arrangements. A security plan of the city police assigned 3,500 policemen backed by Rangers personnel besides 16 snipers, five mobile teams of the bomb disposal squad and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s fire brigade unit.

“Under the city police report forwarded to Sindh IG Fayyaz Ahmed Leghari, a survey of high-rises along the procession route has been completed,” said the CPO statement. “The process of sealing of abandoned buildings, unoccupied flats and shops is under way. Along with rooftop deployment of snipers, round-the-clock monitoring through watchtowers at Nishtar Park has also been arranged.”

According to the alternative traffic plan, all buses, minibuses and trucks coming from Liaquatabad will be diverted onto Martin Road towards Jail Road. These vehicles will, however, be permitted to proceed up to Jail Road and then proceed via Jamshed Road, Shahra-i-Quaideen and Sharea Faisal up to Gora Qabristan and then via Mubarak Shaheed Road, Iqbal Shaheed Road, Lucky Star, Sarwar Shaheed Road, Dr Dawoodpota Road and Preedy Street to their respective destinations.

“Similarly, buses and minibuses approaching the city from the National Stadium will proceed via New M.A. Jinnah Road. These vehicles will be diverted at Dadabhoy Noroji Road towards Kashmir Road from its junction with New M.A. Jinnah Road/Link Road behind the Mazar-i-Quaid,” said a spokesman for the Karachi traffic police.

“Trucks, buses, minibuses approaching from the Superhighway shall be diverted from Al-Azam Square towards Chowrangi No 2, Nazimabad, and shall proceed along Estate Avenue, Shershah to Mauripur Road. These vehicles can move on the same route for their return journey as well.”

It said buses, minibuses and trucks approaching from the National Highway side shall proceed via Rashid Minhas Road, Stadium Road, Sir Shah Muhammad Suleman Road, Hassan Square, Liaquatabad No 10, Nazimabad Chowrangi No 2, Habib Bank, Manghopir Road, Estate Avenue to Shershah, Mauripur Road. Vehicles could return to the National Highway using the same route.

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