Heightened security steps by police for Muharram 10 after DI Khan blast
By Imran Chaudhry
LAHORE: Following the bomb blast near a procession in Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday morning (Muharram 9), the police have further strengthened their security arrangements across the provincial metropolis on the 10th of Muharram (Sunday). The Saturday’s remote control bomb blast near the DI Khan procession killed dozens of innocent people including four children while injured several others.
Police said that the security parameters have been changed and there will be a curfew-like situation in the provincial metropolis on the 10th of Muharram to avoid any untoward incident. The Rangers would also remain stand-by to deal with any untoward situation. No outsider will be allowed to enter the main procession until it ended. The deputed policemen had orders not to leave their duty area until the last person leaves.
The main Ziljinnah procession came out from Nisar Hawaili late Saturday night under unprecedented security measures as thousand of people were participating in this yearly activity with religious fervour and zeal. It will conclude at Karbla Gaam-e- Shah on Sunday night. The city police and other law enforcement agencies have beefed up security and sealed off the provincial metropolis on this occasion with special vigilance on sensitive and highly sensitive areas of the city.
The number of CCTV camera and high voltage lights has been considerably increased this year to ensure crystal clear recording in the surveillance camera as well as for foolproof vigil on the highly sensitive areas especially Karbala Gaam e Shah and adjoining areas. The inspector of police (IG) and other police high-ups also monitored the main as well as other processions themselves across the province. After the disconnection of the mobile phone service in different cities of the province, the police and other law enforcers communicated with each other through wireless system.
The IG said that more than 118,308 policemen have been deployed across the province to maintain peace and security around Majalis and processions, and at Imambargahs. The IG further said that at least 15,000 policemen have also been deployed on the routes of the main procession in the provincial metropolis on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.
Intelligence agencies have also increased usage of non-conventional security methodologies, including the use of sophisticated technology and thorough scanning of the routes and areas of the processions. No one was being allowed to join the main procession from the link roads. The law enforcement agencies will continue the search and scanning operation in these areas and on the routes of the procession with the help of modern scanners, sniffer dogs and through human intelligence days before the event in order to ensure foolproof security.
The security forces will block all the entry points on the routes and those who will only join the procession right from the beginning under the observation of police and the organizers will be allowed to participate in the religious rituals. No bystanders either on the streets or on the roofs of the buildings will be allowed to stand while snipers will take positions on different buildings in order to counter any terrorist activity. Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Aslam Tareen said that Yaom-e-Ashur taught us peace, patience and to remain steadfast with the truth, and in the light of inspiration drawn from their eternal reality, the Lahore police would leave no stone unturned for safeguarding the life and property of citizens.
Aslam Tareen said that all senior police officers would monitor the security at Majalis in their respective areas to ensure peace and harmony during Youm-e-Ashor. He said that any violator would be arrested immediately and stern legal action may also be taken against him. He said that metal detectors would be used at the entrance of the Imambargahs and no one will be allowed to enter without checking. He said that all the SHOs would visit the Majalis venues and brief the deputed officials about the duty. He said that the administration of Imambargah would also be deputed with police officials at the entrance to check unknown persons.
He said that stern action would be taken against the police officials found absent from duty. He said that he would also pay surprise visits to different places to check the security arrangements and concerned SP, SDPO and SHO would be responsible of any negligence.