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1,700 policemen on VIP security duty being withdrawn

Updated September 23, 2017

KARACHI: The city police authorities have decided to withdraw around 1,700 personnel from security of senior officials, politicians and VIPs in order to enhance security of Muharram-related mourning processions and majalis, and to provide security to around 40,000 individuals of the Dawoodi Bohra community from over 40 countries who are in the city to attend the Ashra-i-Mubaraka.

With the beginning of Muharram, the security administration is on its toes to meet the challenge, which is described by a senior police official as “one of the biggest in recent years” due to multiple activities taking place in the city at the same time.

“We are withdrawing most of them,” additional IG Mushtaq Maher told Dawn.

“Even those providing security to me, Sindh IG and other police officers are being withdrawn to strengthen the police force for Muharram security. With this arrangement, we will be able to add around 1,700 policemen to our force in Karachi,” he added.

Earlier, a report submitted to Sindh IG A.D. Khowaja said as many as 65,129 policemen were assigned for deployment across the province under the Muharram contingency plan.

A statement issued by the central police office said the report carried details of police deployment in different districts, including security arrangements in Karachi.

“IG Khowaja has directed all DIGs to personally review security arrangements for majalis venues, routes of large and small mourning processions, mosques and Imambargahs,” said the statement.

The report further said that 2,914 vehicles, 7,939 personnel of reserve police and 9,444 pickets were part of the Muharram security plan for Sindh.

As many as 9,912 police officials in Karachi, 12,947 in the Hyderabad range, 4,211 in Mirpurkhas, 9,145 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 12,250 in the Sukkur range and 16,664 in the Larkana range will be on duty.

A senior official said this year’s security challenge was much bigger than last year’s as around 40,000 individuals of the Dawoodi Bohra community from over 40 countries had arrived in the metropolis to attend the Ashra-i-Mubaraka.

The head of the Bohra community, Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, arrived in the city on Sept 14 to deliver a series of sermons exploring themes of justice, sacrifice, brotherhood and kindness.

“Most of the community’s activities will be held in Saddar for which a detailed security plan has been put in place,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017