Zulfikar Mirza
Sindh Home Minister Dr. Zulfikar Mirza. – File Photo by APP

KARACHI: Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza has directed the Sindh police to implement the ban imposed on the entry of 99 clerics, belonging to different schools of thought, into the province during Muharram.

The Sindh home department recently issued a notification banning the entry of 99 clerics into Sindh during Ashura.

A notification for imposing a ban on pillion-riding, carrying weapons and wall-chalking has already been issued to ensure peace in cities especially their sensitive areas during Muharram.

According to the notification, the entry of the 99 religious clerics — 49 clerics from Punjab, 42 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and eight from Balochistan — has been banned into Sindh.

These clerics include 26 of Fiqh-i-Jafria, one of Ahle-i-Hadith while other 72 belong to Deobandi, Barelvi and other schools of thought.

The notification further stated that 19 clerics of Sindh could not move outside the province — five of east zone, two west zone, two south zone, one of Hyderabad region and nine from Sukkur region. These are eight clerics belonging to Fiqh-i-Jafria, two from Barelvi, one of Jamaat-i-Islami and two of JUI while six belong to the banned outfit Sipah-i-Sahaba.

The notification for cancellation of weapons carrying permits and a ban on pillion-riding in Karachi and Hyderabad has also been issued, effective till the 12th of Muharram.

The Sindh home minister has directed authorities to devise a foolproof strategy in consultation with religious scholars during Muharram, adding that a list of contact numbers of clerics should be compiled.

Dr Mirza also directed the authorities to install scanners; secret cameras and walk-through gates outside mosques, Imambargahs and on the routes of processions in sensitive areas.

He said that a surveillance system should be arranged for monitoring of the central procession in order to avert any untoward incident.

The clearance of the procession routes should be ensured by a bomb disposal squad, he added.

He said that DIGs of all zones would remain in contact with the Central Control Room established in the police headquarters for monitoring of the security arrangements, adding that reports on processions organizers, number of participants in processions, name of clerics leading the processions would be prepared by the DIGs.

He further instructed that district police officers (DPOs) and town SPs remain in contact with the organisers of the processions while extra contingents of police force should be deployed on the procession routes.—PPI