Security in Muharram


Law-enforcement agencies in the country are once again tasked with the sensitive job of ensuring complete security during Muharram. The system is being fine-tuned at various levels and the calls for alert are accompanied by quick refresher about the annual assignment. Religious leaders belonging to various sects and particularly those who are going to host religious events during the month are being asked to liaise closely with the police in the area.
Law-enforcement personnel have to be on their toes and one step ahead of anyone with any adventurous ideas in their mind. The arrest of two people in Taxila the other day over an attempt at spreading sectarian hatred is an example of how keen the mischief makers are to use the relatively new tools easily available to them.
Thus social media is another front the police and others on their side must keep a close eye on. Managing public events all over the world is always exacting for law enforcement. The idea is to not intimate but facilitate the large numbers taking part, providing them a conducive environment to the maximum possible. In fact over the several weeks, this security effort must guard against laxity. The effort has to be sustained by regular monitoring, frequent checks and reinforcement and encouragement, most importantly from the high command.
The security system set up during Muharram over the last few years has been as it’s most vigilant. Expectations are high that this year, too, the arrangements will be top-level. One peculiar but understandable recent tendency is to look at violence in Muharram, or the lack of it, as a barometer for terrorism in the country.
Now, while there may have been a drop in the incidence of acts of terrorism generally, this must not lead to any complacency in the ranks of the law enforcers out to perform their duty in good numbers. There have been in the recent past incidents obviously aimed at creating sect-based disharmony. No one should doubt the intent of the troublemakers, and let there be no false sense of security just because these attacks have occurred at a distance from ‘home’ or ‘your city’. The security apparatus must be particularly vigilant during Muharram.