Islamabad/Rawalpindi—The 9th Moharram procession culminated peacefully in the capital on Tuesday amid tight security. Meanwhile, arrangements have been made for a peaceful Ashura procession in the garrison city.
In Islamabad the main procession started from Markazi Imambarga Asna Ashri, G-6/2 after Namaz-e-Zohrain and culminated at the same point after passing through the designated route. Thousands of mourners, including children and women, paid homage to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions for their sacrifice in Karbala. They also recited nohas and marsiya to commemorate the sacrifice. Quaideen-e-Millat Jafaria led the procession. Mourners from Rawalpindi and the capital’s outskirts like Bari Imam, Shah Allaha Ditta, Rawat, Tarnol and others parts of the city joined the main procession. Sabeels were also set up along the route of the procession to provide much-needed drinks to participants.
The capital holds its main procession on the ninth of Muharram, as the main Ashura procession is held in Rawalpindi on the 10th of Muharram. Islamabad Police claimed to have made extraordinary security arrangements during the procession. From the afternoon, mobile services around G-6 were jammed and remained so till the evening. Over 2,000 police officers were deputed during the procession assisted by troops of the Pakistan Rangers. All roads leading towards G-6/2 as well as the 7th Avenue were closed for traffic. Helicopter support, mobile jammers, and armoured personnel carriers remained present in order to assist law enforcers throughout the procession.
The procession route was cordoned off with tents; which led to incoming participants facing difficulty as they did not which route to take to enter the procession. IGP Tariq Masood Yasin, SSP (Operations) Sajid Kiani, Deputy Commissioner Captain Mushtaq Ali and other officials visited the site to review the on-ground security situation.
A police spokesman said around 600 officials in civilian clothes were also on duty. All roads leading to the site of the procession were blocked but the Islamabad Traffic Police had made special arrangements to divert traffic to alternative routes. Meanwhile, the city district government of Rawalpindi is said to have finalized security arrangements in the city for the Ashura procession being held today (Wednesday).
The official said the main Ashura procession will be taken out from the Col Maqbool Hussain Imambargah at 11:30am and would end at the Qadeemi Imambargah at 11pm. According to the official, over 4,000 police officers will be deployed during the procession. According to the official, 450 CCTV cameras have been installed along the procession route. Additionally, army and rangers will be deployed in Rawalpindi to assist the police.
Similarly, officials of the special branch, CID, Special Investigation Unit and district security branch will be coordinating to avert any violent and tragic incident. Keeping in view the threat perception at each place and its topography, special deployments will be made on rooftops of buildings at important venues. Mobile service will be suspended in Rawalpindi today.
The City Traffic Police impounded more than 650 motorcycles in various police stations of the city over violation of pillion riding ban and fined the drivers. Chief Traffic Officer had ordered traffic wardens to launch a crackdown against violators of the pillion riding ban in the city following which the traffic wardens took action.