Ashura observed amid tight security; 7000 cops, 901 Traffic Wardens, 500 rescuers deployed

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RAWALPINDI, Sep 21 (APP):Youm-e-Ashur, the 10th of Muharram observed here on Friday with solemnity and religious sanctity to pay tribute to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his 72 companions for the supreme sacrifices
rendered by them at Karbala for the cause of truth, justice and righteousness.
As many as 7000 cops with 901 Traffic Wardens were deployed to guard 65 ‘Zuljinah’ and mourning processions and 113 Majalis of Ashura. The contingents of Army and Rangers were also deployed in sensitive areas of the city besides police personnel to make security arrangements foolproof. Over 500 rescuers remained on special duty on Ashura.
Six big ‘Tazia’, ‘Alam’ and ‘Zuljinah’ processions were taken out here under stringent security measures. The ‘Ashura’ processions of the city including processions of Ashiq Hussain Imambargah of Taili Mohalla and Imam Bargah Hifazit Ali Shah Bohar Bazar, first gathered at the Imambargah Maqbool Hussain and after passing through traditional routes the main procession culminated at the ‘Qadeemi’ Imambargah.
Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi visited route of the Ashura procession and reviewed security arrangements. The minister expressed satisfaction over the arrangements. He met with caretaker of the Madrassa Taleem ul Quran Raja Bazar Allama Mufti Ashraf Ali. On the occasion, Punjab Minister Raja Rashid Hafeez, DC Rawalpindi Dr. Umer Jahangir, CPO Rawalpindi Abbas Ahsan and other officers were present. They briefed the minister about arrangements particularly security finalized for Ashura.
Punjab Minister for Literacy and Informal Education Raja Rashid Hafeez, Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Dr. Umer Jahangir, City Police Officer Abbas Ahsan and Additional Commissioner Coordination Tariq Salam Marawat also visited control room and reviewed the security
arrangements.
According to City Police Officer Rawalpindi Abbas Ahsan, strict security measures were adopted for the security of the main mourning procession which passed through the traditional route of Jamia Masjid Road, Sarafa Bazaar, Fawara Chowk, College Road, Liaquat Road, Bhabra Bazaar, Committee Chowk, Trunk Bazaar, Bara Market and Banni Chowk. The mourners performed ‘zanjir zani’. A large number of ‘sabeels’ of water and milk, including ‘langar’, were arranged for the mourners. The complete route was
fully covered by the security personnel.
The major ‘Zuljinah’ and ‘Maatmi’ processions were also appeared from Gora Syedan, Shahpur, Jhangi Syedan, Dhoke Syedan, Sadiqabad, Satellite Town, Shakrial, Sihala, Dhama Syedan, Dhoke Juma, Gorakhpur, Girja Village, Adiala Road, Shah Piyara, Shah Chan Chiragh, Shah Nazar Bridge,
Dhoke Awan and other areas.
On the directive of Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Umer Jahangir, the administration ensured presence of doctors and ambulances on all traditional routes to provide first aid to the mourners.
‘Rescue 1122’ staffers and Civil Defence officials were also present on the occasion to provide necessary assistance to the mourners. Walk-through gates were installed besides extra-ordinary security arrangements at the sites of ‘majalis’ and ‘imambargahs’ to maintain security.
Over 1000 police personnel were present along all the main mourning processions route. Security officials were deployed on the rooftops of nearby buildings and along roadsides to avoid any untoward incident.
Hospitals were directed to remain alert for any emergency situation and provide relief to the mourners.
Besides air surveillance by Army helicopters during Zuljinah processions, 7000 police personnel were deployed in the district for the security of the processions and worship places already declared ‘highly sensitive’ on Ashura.
As many as 10,000 security personnel were deployed in Rawalpindi region on Ashura. Total 209
mourning processions were taken out in Rawalpindi region including 65 of Chakwal district, 49 of Attock district and 30 of Jhelum district.
Special checking of the routes was completed before start of the processions and bomb disposal squad cleared the routes.
The route of the main procession of Ashura was sealed completely and streets on the route of the processions were also barricaded. The main Zuljinah processions of the city were given a ‘box formation’ security.
Police personnel, including Elite Force commandos, special branch personnel, bomb disposal experts, women police personnel and Dolphin Force were deployed for the security of Ashura
processions.
The entry of the participants of the processions was allowed through walk-through gates while no vehicle was permitted entry into the processions. Parking of vehicles was allowed 200-meter away from the processions and imambargahs. Mobile phone service and Metro bus service remained suspended on Ashura. Mobile service restored after the Ashura main procession culminated.
According to Provincial Minister Raja Rashid Hafeez, foolproof security arrangements were made for Ashura. A central control room was set up at Municipal Corporation Office to monitor the processions and coordinate with the police deployments. Over 360 Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras were installed at different points in the city. He informed that experts of law enforcement agencies remained present in the control room and monitored the city situation.
Meanwhile, the City Traffic Police had chalked out a separate traffic plan to facilitate the mourners and Ashura processions. A control room was also set up at the traffic headquarters.
According to City Traffic Officer (CTO) Muhammad Bin Ashraf, the traffic was diverted on 48 different routes of the city while 901 Traffic Wardens including 671 Warden Officers, 60 inspectors, seven DSPs and 163 Traffic Assistants. There was complete ban on parking of any vehicle, motorcycle or handcarts on the route of the processions.
As part of the security measures, entry of vehicular traffic from Committee Chowk to Iqbal Road was strictly banned. No vehicle was allowed on DAV college road and Iqbal road. The public
transport for City Saddar Road was diverted to Mohanpura road and traffic from Novelty cinema reached
Pirwadhai through Kashmiri bazaar. Traffic coming from Gunjmandi was diverted to TB hospital, Pirwadhai and Dhoke Dalal.
According to District Emergency Officer, Rescue-1122, Dr. Abdul Rehman, over 500 rescuers remained on special duties in Rawalpindi district control room, emergency rescue stations with 34 fully equipped emergency ambulances, 12 fire vehicles, five special rescue and recovery vehicles,
two water bowzers and 45 motorbike ambulances. 20 mobile rescue teams moved with Ashura processions.
A comprehensive plan was formulated to provide first aid and on the spot pre-hospital medical care to the mourners while seriously injured persons were shifted to nearby hospitals. Emergency officers including trained doctors were supervising the arrangements. All mobile teams and ambulances with medical kits were moving along with the processions to provide the mourners with immediate
medical aid.