Over 12,000 security personnel to guard Muharram gatherings in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: As many as 12,000 personnel of Islamabad Police, Pakistan Rangers and FC would perform security duties during Muharram ul Haram and to maintain high vigilance to thwart any untoward incident.

Islamabad Police have finalized comprehensive security arrangements for the processions, religious gatherings during Muharram ul Harram and decided to launch combing as well as search operations in various slum areas of the city including Afghan habitats to ensure fool proof security.

This plan has been prepared by SSP Islamabad Sajid Kiani keeping in view National Action Plan following directions of IGP Islamabad Mohammad Khalid Khattak. All wings of Islamabad police have been also given directions to ensure complete coordination for success of this plan.

As per strategy, activities of people being put under surveillance following fourth schedule will be strictly monitored. Similarly, those scholars or persons from defunct organizations banned to enter in Islamabad would not be allowed at any cost to participate in kind of activity.

The SSP has directed all SDPOs and SHOs to launch effective search operation as well as combing activities in the slum areas of the city including Afghan habitats and enhance vigilance at all entrance points of the city. All SPs have been asked to monitor this search operation themselves and inform SSP’s office on daily basis about progress in this regard.

He also directed to maintain close liaison with peace committees and and organizers of Majalis and processions. He said that cooperation of organizers should be ensured with the police and law enforcing officials.

A total of 909 religious gatherings (Majalis) and 177 processions (159 traditional and 18 licensed) will be held. The religious gatherings have been divided into three categories as per security aspect and 122 Majalis have been placed in Category A, 492 in Category B and 295 in Category C while 14 processions have been put in Category A, 91 in Category B and 72 in Category C.

The SSP ha directed for strict security arrangements on these occasions and special checking of participants.

He said that it should be ensured to make arrangements for checking of participants of Majalis and processions thorough using metal detectors. Strict vigilance should be maintained to ensure that security measures are in place by the police as well as peace committees, the SSP maintained.

As many 1500 personnel of Rangers and 500 FC personnel will also assist Islamabad police to ensure elaborate security arrangements. The SSP also ordered all SHOs to make proper light arrangements after negotiations with concerned authorities and also to weed out bushes in the various areas in the vicinity of worship places.

The personnel of Rangers and police Commandoes along with vehicles would perform the security of Imambargahs arranging religious gatherings and DSP CIA would be focal persons for security arrangements of these gatherings.

He said that it should be ensured that processions will pass through the fixed routes and timings of processions to  be observed strictly. He has also directed for effective patrolling and use commando vehicles for the purpose.

The IGP directed for maintaining close coordination among all wings of Islamabad police and staff. The IGP asked SSP (Traffic) to ensure arrangements for avoiding any inconvenience to road users and special deployment should be made for smooth flow of traffic at alternate routes when processions will be carried out.

It should be ensured that Parking lots to be far away from the processions with proper security arrangements there and metal detectors would be used at entry and exit points too.

The SSP has said that walk through gates must be installed at all entry and exit points of Majalis and processions and it should be covered through large strength of policemen.He also asked all SPs, SDPOs to take steps to curb wall chalking or pasting posters which may hurt sentiments of people.

Patrolling officers must conduct visit of all the routes of Muharram processions and Imambargahs and rooftops to be covered by the police officials. The IGP said that lady Police should be deputed for the female gatherings while police officers and Jawans would perform security duties outside the Imambargahs.

All Station House Officers (SHOs) should get the complete bio‑data of those volunteers performing security duties.

Peace committees would be asked to ensure that no stranger is allowed to stay in the worship places for security reasons during the month of Muharram.

It will be also mandatory for the participants and organizers of the processions to get clearance certificates from the concerned police station before its start as a part of effective security measure.