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Pillion riding banned in Sindh over perceived threat to security on Chehlum

October 28, 2018

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The pillion riding ban shall not be applicable to women, children below 12, senior citizens, journalists, and LEAs. —File photo
The pillion riding ban shall not be applicable to women, children below 12, senior citizens, journalists, and LEAs. —File photo

The Sindh government has imposed a ban on pillion riding in Karachi and other divisions of the province in line with the security arrangements for Chehlum of Imam Hussain on Tuesday, read a notification issued by the provincial home secretary.

It has also forwarded recommendations to the federal government for suspension of mobile and internet services in the metropolis and other major cities of the province on the main routes of processions, according to officials and notifications issued to this effect.

Pillion riding has been banned in Karachi on October 30 (Tuesday only) while in Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana divisions, pillion riding has been banned for five days — from October 29 (Monday) to November 2 (Friday).

The ban shall not be applicable to women, children below the age of 12 years, senior citizens, journalists, law enforcement personnel in uniforms and employees of essential services.

The Sindh government officials said that this ban has been imposed in light of recommendations by Sindh Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, who has mentioned that intensive religious activities will be held in all areas of Karachi and other ranges of the province.

Therefore, in view of the ongoing operation against terrorist organisations and perceived threat on the occasion of Chehlum, the provincial police chief has recommended the imposition of a ban on pillion riding in Karachi and other major cities of the province.

Suspension of mobile, internet services

Separately, the Sindh home department has written a letter to the federal interior secretary and the PTA chairman to suspend mobile and internet services in Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana divisions along the routes of the procession.

This has also been suggested on the recommendation of the Sindh IGP.

For Karachi, it has been recommended to suspend mobile services on October 30 from 10am to 8pm along the route of the procession, namely from Nishter Park in Soldier Bazaar to Hussanian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.

For Hyderabad district, suspension of mobile services has been recommended from 8am to 10pm in Hyderabad station road and Saddar area on Tuesday. Moreover, for Sukkur district from 12pm to midnight from Fojdari Chowk to Kasai Mohalla Sukkur, for Khairpur district from 8am to 8pm from Kharipur city to Piryalo City, for Jacobabad district from 8am to 10pm in Jacobabad city, Thul city and Ghari Khero.

However, for Shikarpur district, it has been recommended to ban mobile phone and internet service in the whole district from 8am to 10pm, as the entire district was termed as ‘sensitive’.

The provincial government has urged the federal government “to suspend all kinds of cellular GPRS communication services, mobile services, and internet in the areas mentioned above in order to facilitate the police and law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order”.

However, in case of any incident or emergency, mobile phone companies may be directed to restore the facility immediately on request of the Sindh home department.

5311 policemen to be deployed

According to the police spokesperson, 5,311 policemen would be deployed for the provision of security to the main Chehlum processions in the city on October 30.

IGP Imam has directed all deputy inspector generals to take extraordinary security measures to maintain law and order in coordination with Rangers and other law enforcement agencies.