Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Muharram processions: Karachi wrapped up in tight security foil

Sachal Rangers Commander, Brig.Waseem Ayub addressing
a press conference at Rangers Headquarters
By Atif Raza

KARACHI: The metropolis has been wrapped up in a tight security foil as crucial closing rituals of Muharram 9 and 10 await stricter shielding of the city.

The routes of the procession remained unchanged and mourners had to walk long to participate in the procession due to safety measures designed by the law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Almost 6,000 law enforcers, 557 vehicles and 301 motorcycles have been deployed across Sindh to ensure that the primary mourning procession reaches its destination safely.

Brig Waseem Ayub along with Major Bilal stated this in a press conference organised by the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh at their headquarters in Jinnah Court.

Over a hundred mosques and imambargahs were declared sensitive, and Rangers and police have planned inflexible security arrangements to guard the processions of Muharram 8, 9 and 10.

The security at entry and exit points of the city have been strengthened to counter any possible terrorist activity, while security personnel have been deployed at bus stops and railway stations to protect these public places from being attacked.

The LEAs are carrying out rigid snap checking and ban on pillion riding is being strictly implemented. Measures are also being taken to check incidents of aerial firing.

Ayub said Karachi had been distributed in three zones and a large number of personnel were deployed to crush any kind of trouble, while closed-circuit television cameras were installed for round-the-clock surveillance to closely monitor the procession.

In addition to these, mobile command and control units were also set up to accompany the procession.

Measures have been designed to closely monitor all the routes of the procession and Majalis across the city, while snipers of Rangers and police would be deployed on rooftops of high-rises to keep an eye on troublemakers. All procession routes would be cleared with the help of the Bomb Disposable Squad and sniffer dogs.

While giving details of the pattern of likely attacks, Ayub said terrorists were likely to attack vehicles with bombs, open firing at participants, or throw hand grenades or acid at the mourners. Volunteers and scouts have been trained in this connection to foil any attempt to mix poisonous substances in Sabeels.

According to information received, militants and anti-State elements were planning to use chemical and petrol bombs for attacks. Terrorists might attempt to target Shia Ulema and other clerics; therefore, the mourners must keep a close eye on their surroundings and report to law enforcers in case they notice any suspicious man, beggar or vehicle.

Ayub appealed to the Ulema to educate people as to not destroying people’s properties and vehicles in case of any unpleasant happenings. He also said there was information that.(DT)

No comments: