RAWALPINDI: The district administration on Saturday made a control room functional to ensure security during Ashura and deployed 500 army and 300 Rangers personnel.
Talking to Dawn, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Tahir Farooq said over 500 armymen and 300 Rangers had been deployed in the garrison city for Muharram 7 and Ashura processions. He said the control room was set up at the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation from where the city would be monitored through 300 close circuit TV (CCTV) cameras.
He said before the Muharram 7 procession, the district administration completed arrangements of lighting and repaired roads on its route while the health authority set up camps along the route.
The district administration also banned the entry of 39 clerics of different schools of thought and issued gagging orders for 16 others.
As many as 12 clerics whose entry was banned belonged to the Deobandi and one each to Barelvi, Shia and Ahle Hadith schools of thought. Moreover, 39 others were stopped from delivering speeches.
Mr Farooq issued directives to ban the entry of 39 clerics in the district for two months.
He also issued gagging orders for 16 clerics. “I am satisfied on the basis of City Police Officer report to prevent these persons from delivering speeches/sermons at public places and religious gatherings in the revenue limits of Rawalpindi district for 60 days with immediate effect,” the order stated.
To a question, the DC said peace committees had been activated to maintain peace and harmony in the district, adding that religious scholars had been requested to play their role in promoting brotherhood.
Earlier, Mr Farooq called a meeting of the organisers of majalis and licence holders of mourning processions. He assured them that the government would provide all facilities to them but they should cooperate with the administration and police.
He requested the organisers not to call those zakirs and khateebs to majalis who had been banned and stopped from delivering speeches, adding that a list was provided to the organisers.
The religious scholars, organisers and licence holders of mourning processions for Ashura assured the administration of their cooperation and pointed out some problems which should be rectified.
The capital administration imposed a ban on pillion riding in the capital on Muharram 9 and 10, officials said on Saturday.
According to a notification issued from the office of Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon, certain pillion riders were likely to resort to violence and acts of sabotage aimed at disrupting peace and tranquility during Muharram.
There are sufficient grounds for proceedings under section 14 CrPC 1898 to prohibit the use of motorcycle for pillion riding to avoid any threat to public peace and tranquility within the capital, it said.
“In exercise of powers conferred on the DC under Section 144 CrPC, I do hereby prohibit the use of motorcycle for pillion riding in the capital,” it said, adding the order shall remain effective on Muharram 9 and 10. — Munawer Azeem also contributed to the story
Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2022