KARACHI: A procession was taken out in the city on Sunday to commemorated Chehlum of martyrdom of Imam Husain amid tight security.

The main procession started from Nishtar Park, where Allama Raza addressed the mourners.

Led by Shabbar Zaidi, Nasir Ali and Ali Raza, the mourners performed Namaz-i-Zohrain near the VIP gate of Mazar-i-Quaid.

The mourners chanted slogans commemorating Imam Husain’s martyrdom along the way.

They also burnt flags of the United States, Israel and India, a security official said. As compared to the past, no protest took place against missing persons this time, added the official.

After passing through its traditional routes, the procession culminated at Husainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar in the evening.

As many as 5,313 policemen performed their security duty to prevent any untoward incident.

Personnel of Pakistan Rangers Sindh were also posted.

Mobile phone service remained partially suspended along the routes of the main procession while pillion riding was also banned by the provincial government.

DIG East Amir Farooqi said that Chehlum was observed peacefully.

In East Zone, women and children participated in large numbers.

As compared to the Ashura procession, the senior officer said, civic amenities were in a better shape this time.

“We employed Rapid Response Force and Special Security Unit of police for security which gave a smart look to the police deployment while Rangers were as efficient as ever,” said DIG Farooqi.

‘Terrorism won’t be allowed to take roots’

DG Rangers Maj Gen Omer Ahmed Bokhari visited the Chehlum procession, assessed the security arrangements and met the organisers.

Speaking to the media, the chief of the paramilitary force said that there was no specific threat pertaining to Chehlum, but in the prevailing security situation “we don’t plan normal security”.Security plan is always prepared in view of threat perception, he added.

“The law and order situation is better in the city,” said the DG Rangers.

He added that the Rangers had prepared a coordinated strategy to deal with terrorists.

He opined that crime data showed that “street crimes have significantly reduced, but given the reservations of citizens, special directions have been given to the Rangers for action against street criminals”.

Talking about other parts of Sindh, the Rangers head said the overall law and order situation was better in the province.

“People should not worry as terrorism would not take roots here,” declared the chief of the paramilitary force.

“We are aware of the city’s situation and action against criminals would continue and Rangers would continue to perform their duty.”

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019