LAHORE: The capital city police on Sunday completed preparations for security arrangements for Youm-i-Ashur.
More than 10,000 police officers will perform security duties on Muharram nine and 10 and the Punjab government also imposed a ban on pillion riding during Ashura.
Furthermore, mobile phone service will be suspended on the routes of the main processions on Ashur day at specific times and the program organizers have been directed to ensure adherence to the code of conduct, route and timings
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood said more than 10,000 policemen, including 14 SPs, 40 DSPs, 99 inspectors, 810 upper subordinates along with 370 female police personnel and anti-riot force would perform duty on Youm-i-Ashur to provide foolproof security to the mourners of majalis and processions as well as citizens.
More than 125 mourning processions and 600 Majalis would be held on Muharram nine and 10. As many as 3,868 Majalis and 460 mourning processions would be held during Ashura, whereas there are 5,235 majalis and 650 mourning processions in the complete month of Muharram. These would be monitored through around 900 CCTV cameras while drone cameras would also be used to monitor these programmes.
The CCPO hoped for an ‘FIR-free’ Muharram with mutual coordination among the stakeholders and promotion of interfaith harmony and a code of conduct released by the CCPO Lahore to all the stakeholders in this regard.
Special check posts were established at different areas of the city to check the movements of the citizens and vehicles apart from entry and exit points of the city. Police officials check suspicious persons and vehicles at these posts.
The main procession of Youm-i-Aashur would be brought out from Nisar Haveli Mochi Gate and complete its more than 6km voyage and end at Karbala Gamay Shah.
All the streets falling on the routes of the main procession would be completely sealed with barbwire, containers and barriers.
The participants would be checked thoroughly at entry points of the processions through a three-layer checking mechanism. Snipers have been deployed on the rooftops and vantage points on the routes of the main procession. Community volunteers along with police officers would perform checking and search duty of the participants of programmes.
All the activities of Muharram 10 at important places of the city would continuously be monitored through CCTV cameras of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority and the control room of the district government.
The CCPO requested the participants of the programs to wear masks and implement coronavirus SOPs.
The city police carried out flag marches in the city to create a sense of security among the citizens led by divisional SPs.
The CCPO visited different areas of the city to inspect the security arrangements made by the Lahore Police. DIG operations Afzaal Ahmad Kausar, related divisional SPs and other Police officers accompanied him.
He also inspected the route of the main procession and met with the community leaders, processions and majalis organisers as well as license holders and assured them provision of foolproof security to the participants of all the programmes.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2022