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Apprehensions recede as Muharram 9 procession concludes peacefully

Apprehensions recede as Muharram 9 procession concludes peacefully

ISLAMABAD: The main 9th Muharram procession on Saturday witnessed a decline of the ‘element of fear’ among the mourners as well as law enforcement agencies.

Compared to the previous years, the security measures inside the procession as well as at its entry points were comparatively relaxed.

However, there was strict checking by the police on roads leading to the procession route.

Besides, mild weather conditions also supported the enhanced public presence which also resulted in severe traffic congestion and a shortage of parking space around 9th Avenue and Blue Area facing the G-6 sector.

As the authorities were comparatively relaxed, a large number of people brought in food items to offer to the mourners as ‘Niaz’.

Similarly, the police and other law enforcement agencies, including the Frontier Constabulary (FC), were relatively at ease and relaxed.

A couple of police personnel were even seen drinking tea from a Sabeel at G6-1/2 when the procession reached there at around sunset.

The procession started at around 1pm, after a majlis, from Markazi Imambargah G-6 which was participated by a large number of women and children and residents of houses falling on the procession route.

“Police had stopped us from offering drinks and cooked items to the participants a few years ago but today we have been allowed to come out of our homes to participate in the procession,” said Rao Mohammad, a resident of G6-1/2.

However, the police presence and their preparedness to meet any eventuality were not reduced. A senior police officer said around 10,000 personnel from the operation, Special Branch, headquarters and the traffic police were deployed on the security duty along with 1,200 Rangers and 1,000 personnel of the FC.

“The number of law enforcement has not been reduced this year but the level of security is visibly low and the reason is obvious - the terror situation has improved significantly in the country,” he said.

The procession culminated at the same place late night after passing through its designated route.

ATTOCK: The 9th Muharram procession and majalis were held peacefully in Attock amid tight security. A large number of officials of the police and other law enforcement agencies were deployed to ensure security.

Over 40 processions were brought out in the area. The major procession of Alam-o-Zuljinah was taken out from Imambargah Sheenbagh village in which a large number of mourners and Azadars participated.

TAXILA: Mourners in Taxila and Wah Cantonment also brought out the 9th Muharram procession and held Majalis amid tight security.

Six processions were taken out in Taxila and two in Wah Cantonment. The two cities also held 31 Majalis at imambargahs and religious places.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2017

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