The whole country will observe Youm-e-Ashura today with due solemnity and sanctity to recall the sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions. The Ashura observances will be carried out under strict security measures, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday.
To maintain full-proof security, mobile phone service will be suspended from early morning while barbed wire and heavy containers will be used to seal the routes of major mourning processions.
Thousands of mourners will be present in the mourning processions for whose security Pakistan Army and Rangers have been asked for help.
The troops will take control of the sensitive areas. In addition to that, 1,000 police and other security personnel will be also deployed.
A central control room has been set up in the office of the Municipal Corporation for close monitoring of the processions. A senior police officer said that the routes of Rawalpindi’s major Ashura procession has been declared highly sensitive and aerial surveillance of these spots will be carried out.
Additionally, a thorough search of mourners attending the procession will be ensured for which walk-through gates will be installed at Committee Chowk and Fawara Chowk while female security personnel will also be deployed for female attendees.
Expert sniper police officers equipped with drone cameras and binoculars will be deployed on the high-rising buildings around the major routes of the processions.
Before the start of the observances, the special branch and bomb disposal squad will conduct a thorough scanning of the routes and issue a clearance certificate.
Moreover, emergency routes have been arranged for ambulances in case of any untoward incident while Benazir Bhutto Hospital, District Headquarters Hospital and Holy Family Hospital will be kept on high alert.
Proper arrangements of street lights on the major routes of the processions will be facilitated for which IESCO staff will be deployed till the end of the Ashura observances. Additionally, mobile generators have been arranged in case of power breakdown.
Additional force of Special Branch Police, Elite Force, Punjab Constabulary, Women Police along with district police would be deployed to ensure security.
Moreover, media coverage of the observances will be done by the representatives who have been issued passes by the police.
Medical camps along routes
The District Health Authority will set up four medical camps along the main Ashura procession route to provide first aid health care to the mourners.
The authority spokesperson Dr Waqar Ahmed informed that medical camps would be set up at Committee Chowk, Choor Chowk, Kotwali chowk and Qasai Gali bazaar on Muharram 10.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2021.