Traffic police and security agencies in Pakistan's largest cities have prepared plans for traffic and security for Youm-i-Ali processions on Saturday.
Youm-i-Ali, observed on the 21st day of Ramazan, sees large processions across the country commemorating the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali.
Security forces and traffic police of all four provincial capitals have prepared plans for peaceful observation of the occasion and smooth flow of traffic on the day.
A meeting presided over by Director General of the Rangers, Sindh, Maj Gen Mohammed Saeed reviewed security measures at the Rangers headquarters for Youm-i-Ali, a spokesperson for the paramilitary force said in a statement issued here.
A coordinated strategy was designed in the meeting to ensure law and order during Youm-i-Ali to meet any eventuality.
A total of 5,570 personnel will be deployed on the routes of processions and major imambargahs of the city where a total of 834 majlis events and 122 processions will be held.
A separate meeting, headed by Inspector General (IG) of Police Sindh A.D. Khawaja, was held to review security measures for Youm-i-Ali.
IG Khawaja has insisted on information sharing within the police department. SHOs have been directed to stay in constant contact with intelligence and other officials.
Approximately 650 majlis events and rallies will commence in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Sukkur and Shaheed Benazirabad, the IG was informed in the meeting.
Khawaja has also directed officials to reinforce security mechanisms at entry points of all cities in the province.
He has directed the officials to strengthen DIG-to-DIG, SSP-to-SSP and SHO-to-SHO communication. The progress of district-to-district information sharing through WhatsApp was also shared in the meeting.
Police have issued a traffic plan for a procession that will be taken out from Nishter Park in connection with Youm-i-Ali on Saturday. It will terminate at Imambargah Hussainian Iranian in the afternoon.
Under the plan, all traffic coming from the city side will be diverted to Soldier Bazaar (Bahaduryar Jang Road), Coasts Guard, Ankle-Saria, Jubilee and Garden Zoo. The traffic coming from the Nazimabad side will be diverted from Lasbella to Nishter Road and Garden Zoo and that coming from Liaquatabad to Martin Road.
The vehicles will, however, be permitted to proceed up to the Jail Road area via Jamshed, Dada Bhoy Noorji and Kashmir roads, Shahrah-i-Quaideen and Sharea Faisal. The traffic coming from the Stadium Road side will proceed via New MA Jinnah Road. The vehicles will be diverted at Dada Bhoy Noorji Road towards Kashmir Road, Society Light Signal, Shahrah-i-Quaideen and Sharea Faisal.
Around 7,000 policemen will be deployed in the city to ensure foolproof security for the participants of Youm-i-Ali processions on June 17.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Amin Wains held a meeting with religious scholars at Police Lines Qila Gujjar Singh on Wednesday.
He said a four-tier security plan had been finalised keeping in view the sensitivity of the task and the challenges. Every participant of the procession would have to be physically checked by policemen deployed for security.
The CCPO said the procession would also be monitored by the Safe City Authorities and police through CCTV cameras installed on the route. All the markets and shops in and around the procession route would be closed and snipers deployed on the roofs of all high-rise buildings. He also appealed to citizens to keep an eye on any suspicious elements and report to law enforcement agencies about any untoward incident.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Security Abadit Nisar said walk-through gates were installed at every entry and exit point of the procession route and vehicles should be parked 200 metres from the route.
According to the plan for Lahore, one SP, four deputy superintendents of police, 42 inspectors and more than 1,000 wardens, including 111 female wardens, will perform duty on the route of the main procession.
The Youm-i-Ali procession will begin from Mubarak Haveli inside Bhati Gate and culminate at Karbala Gamay Shah. Under the plan, traffic would be diverted to alternate routes from 19 points on the route of the procession.
Traffic coming from Shahdara will be diverted to the railway station, inner side Circular Road to Mori Gate, and traffic coming from Chauburji Chowk will be diverted from MAO College to Outfall Road.
Chief Traffic Officer Rai Ijaz Ahmed said the traffic police have organised a very easy traffic plan for Youm-i-Ali to facilitate commuters. There will be no obstruction even on the route of the procession and wardens would guide people about alternate routes.
He said seven parking lots, including Nasser Bagh, Deputy Commissioner’s Office, Mochi Gate Bagh, Data Darbar Eye Hospital, Central Model High School, Bagh Ali and Adda Crown had been established for participants in the procession to park their vehicles.
Operational police and traffic police have prepared security and traffic plans for tomorrow.
According to the details available, 2,000 police personnel shall be deployed on the routes besides Special Branch, Female Police and Elite Force personnel.
Nobody would be allowed to enter the processions without going through a four-tier security check. Snipers will also be deployed on the route.
DAV College road, Tehsil Office, Committee Chowk, Mochi Bazaar, Thaana City, Alam Khan road, Imam Bargah Chowk, Dhok Ratta Chowk, City Saddar road and Masjid Gandum road will remain closed for traffic tomorrow.
An alternate plan has been presented to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Commuters will use Murree Road to reach Bani Gala via Asghar Mall Chowk. Those travelling to Committee Chowk will also use Murree Road. They will be permitted to travel towards Iqbal Road thereon.
CTO Rawalpindi Yousuf Ali Shahid informed DawnNews that a large number of traffic wardens will be deployed on alternate routes to ensure smooth flow of traffic, while 17 junior wardens, 65 wardens, 17 inspectors and five DSPs will be present on the closed routes.
Youm-i-Ali procession will emerge Friday night from Imambargah Syed Alam Shah and proceed through Chowk Nasir Khan and will conclude at the same imambarah after passing through its traditional routes.
To avoid any untoward incident, foolproof security arrangements have been made, while the mourning processions will follow the planned routes and gather at pre-decided venues.
Massive security arrangements will be observed throughout the procession routes, SSP Operations Sajjad Khan said. A total of 150 police officials have been deployed for security of the procession.
Security has been put on high alert on the eve of Youm-i-Ali in Quetta.
The mourning procession will be taken out from Shuhada Chowk and it will pass through its traditional routes.
Besides police, personnel of Frontier Corps will also be deployed on the procession route to ensure peace.
A senior police officer who declined to be named told DawnNews that 3,000 policemen and 500 FC personnel will be deployed on the procession route. He said an emergency has been declared in all government hospitals of Quetta.
All shops located on the procession route will be closed in the city.
Bomb disposal squad will conduct regular sweeps of the area to avoid occurrence of any untoward incident.
Quetta has witnessed worst type of sectarian violence, in which scores of people have lost their lives.