Mourners flagellate during the Chehlum procession in Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi on Sunday. — INP
Mourners flagellate during the Chehlum procession in Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi on Sunday. — INP

RAWALPINDI: Thousands of people participated in the mourning procession marking the Chehlum of Imam Husain in Rawalpindi on Sunday, bringing Chehlum events in the twin cities to an end.

Mourning processions were taken out from Imambargah Qadeemi, Imambargah Hifazat Ali Shah and Imambargah Col Maqbool and joined the main procession at Fawara Chowk.

The procession followed its traditional route, through Asghar Mall Road, Murree Road, Committee Chowk, Iqbal Road, Raja Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, Purana Qila, Jamia Masjid Road and terminated peacefully at Imambargah Qadeemi Shahnazar Pul.

Several thousand police officials and law enforcement personnel had cordoned off the entire procession route from Sunday morning, placing barricades on slip streets and roads along the route.

Army, Rangers, arms and ammunition vehicles, the bomb disposal squad, fire brigade, Rescue 1122, hospital ambulance squads and technical sweeping personnel were on high alert for the day. The city was patrolled by riot police, plainclothes officials and policewomen.

Deputy Commissioner Saifullah Dogar told Dawn that the organisers observed the timings and coordinated with the administration and law enforcement agencies. He said that the day remained peaceful.

In their sermons, religious scholars highlighted the role of the martyrs of Karbala. They cited portions from addresses by Bibi Zainab, Imam Husain’s sister, which she delivered after the Karbala tragedy.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019