RAWALPINDI: The security level has been raised to ‘red alert’ on Ashura with the development of 6,000 law enforcement personnel in the district and snipers on rooftops of buildings on the route of the main procession.
The main Ashura procession is likely to be watched from a helicopter while police will be conducting random checking at different points.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Imran Ahmar told Dawn that the security level will be at the highest level - red alert - on Ashura due to the prevailing security situation.
“Yes, police have been taking all measures to ensure foolproof security for the peaceful passage of the Ashura procession,” the RPO said, adding: “There is no specific threat but we are taking no chance.”
The city areas will be under tight security on Tuesday with roads closed to traffic and additional check points and barriers set up.
A police spokesman said foolproof security arrangements had been made for Muharram 10 and more than 6,000 police personnel will perform security and over 1,000 others traffic duties.
As many as 65 processions and 113 majalis will be provided with foolproof security.
Walk-through gates at the entry points of the procession will be installed and the participants will be allowed entry only after full body search.
Expert sharp shooters will be deployed on the rooftops of buildings located on the route of the main procession while searching and sweeping of the route will also be carried out. Streets and roads will be sealed on the procession route.
Pillion riding, display of weapons and use of loudspeakers will be banned and legal action will be taken for violation. Full implementation of the code of conduct will be ensured to ensure foolproof security arrangements.
Videos of the main procession will be made with drone cameras. All senior officers will be monitoring the situation in the field.
Doctors, paramedics’ leaves cancelled
The Punjab government has canceled the vacations of doctors and paramedical staff in three government run hospitals in the garrison city to deal with any emergency on Ashura.
The three allied hospitals - Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital - have been put on high alert.
The government has issued directives to arrange lifesaving drugs, blood bags and to allocate 30 to 40 beds in each of the three hospitals to deal with any emergency situation.
Outpatient departments will be closed but emergency departments will remain open. Dengue wards will also remain open to check new patients.
Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2022