Mourners hold alam as they take part in 9th Muharram procession in Peshawar Cantt on Monday. — White Star
Mourners hold alam as they take part in 9th Muharram procession in Peshawar Cantt on Monday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: The mourning processions of 9th Muharram concluded peacefully in Peshawar and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday amid tight security arrangements.

The participants were allowed only after body search by the law enforcers and volunteers of Imamia Students’ Organisation. Walkthrough gates were installed for screening of participants, and surveillance of processions was carried out through video-recording and CCTV cameras installed especially for this purpose.

The personnel of bomb disposal unit also stood alert and carried out security check of the routes through equipment and sniffer dogs.

In Peshawar, the Zuljinah procession appeared in the morning from Imambargah Hussainia Hall on the main Saddar Road, which was followed by many other processions in parts of the provincial metropolis.

Stringent security measures adopted

Earlier, holding alams and beating their chests, the mourners assembled at the Hussainia Hall to pay tributes to the martyrs of Karbala.

On the occasion, a religious scholar delivered sermon on the importance of 9th Muharram and sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and other martyrs of Karbala and said the matchless sacrifices were a great source of inspiration for all the Muslims.

Appearing from the worship place the participants passed through the traditional route comprising Saddar Road, Kalabari and Fawwara Chowk where the organisers had arranged ‘sabeels’ (water distribution points).

The 1122 Rescue Service had also set up a medical camp to provide timely treatment to the mourners in case of any emergency.

After offering ‘zuhrain’ (the collective prayers of the day), the procession culminated back at the Imambargah Hussainia Hall.

The second Zuljinah procession was brought out from the Mohallah Bibi Zikree. Reciting mourning verses, the participants continued flagellating while passing through different traditional routes.

The procession ended at the same venue in the evening. The entire city was sealed and no vehicle was allowed to enter the area designated for the mourning processions.

In the evening, many other processions were taken out from several worship places, and concluded at the originating points peacefully.

The police had blocked all the entry points to the city to facilitate the mourners and avert any untoward incident.

Mobile service remained suspended in the provincial capital for security purposes.

Peshawar SSP Zahoor Babar Afridi visited different routes of the processions in Gulbahar and directed the security staff to ensure peaceful conclusion of the processions. He said three-layered security arrangements had been made to avert any security challenge.

In Haripur, which had been declared the most sensitive district for Muharram, the mourning processions concluded peacefully at the designated points.

The main procession of 9th Muharram was taken out from Imambargah Imamia Sajjadia Mohallah Motian and ended at Imambargah Qadeemia Mohalla Chowki police. The mourners from different parts of the district participated. The route had been cordoned off by the personnel of police and elite force.

In Kohat, the mourners’ processions completed peacefully where the clerics highlighted the sacrifices of the martyrs of Karbala and urged the Muslim Ummah to follow the footprints of the martyrs. Stringent security arrangements had been made to avert any untoward incident. The officials of police and district administration continued visiting different areas to monitor the security arrangements till conclusion of the processions.

In Lakki Marwat, the Muharram procession ended peacefully in Mohallah Sayyedan in the city. The procession taken out from Imambargah Kashana Bukhari late Sunday night culminated at the starting point after passing through traditional route.

DPO Qasim Ali Khan was present on the occasion to supervise security arrangements and ensure provision of protection to mourners.

He said additional cops would be deployed for the 10th Muharram processions.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019