The main Yaum-e-Ali procession ended peacefully on Friday evening at the Imambargah Hussania Iranian in Kharadar after a confrontation between the Rangers and participants resulted in stones being pelted at mobile units of law enforcement agencies and aerial firing.
The procession was taken out from Purani Numaish after a congregation at Nishtar Park to observe the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA). The aerial firing also injured a police constable, who was struck by a stray bullet. Superintendent Police of the City Division Nawaz said that the policeman was injured when the procession was passing through MA Jinnah Road and heading towards the Imambargah Hussainia Iranian. However, the constable was said to be in a stable condition.
The procession was taken out under heavy police and Rangers protection. Security personnel from the Jafaria Alliance and Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen were present to avert any potential dangers.
Commissioner Karachi Roshan Ali Shaikh said armed miscreants tried to penetrate the central procession of Yaum-e-Ali near the Bolton Market and resorted to aerial firing after the police and Rangers deputed at the spot insisted on a body search before allowing them to join.
The commissioner feared that if the armed men had been able to penetrate the procession, it would have been a recipe for disaster. He commended the organisers for rising to the occasion and taking control of the situation by calming the tempers of the mourners.
Sheikh said it was decided during consultations with the concerned Ulema that nobody would be allowed to enter the procession midway. He also commended the services of the police, Rangers’ personnel and scouts, adding that they showed no fear for their lives and acted in a timely manner to foil any possible sabotage by the armed miscreants, thus saving precious lives.
Meanwhile, Jaffria Alliance spokesman Ali Ahmer’s version of events was that some people tried to join the procession through a passage near the Denso Hall that had been sealed by the Rangers. He said that some altercations took place at around 7:00pm and the paramilitary soldiers were forced to fire in the air to try and control the situation.
A third version of events came from the Yaum-e-Ali Khadim-e-procession, Shabbar Zaidi, who claimed that neither the Rangers nor the participants fired the shots. He maintained that a little disturbance was reported, but was later controlled.
The police sealed all the entrances of MA Jinnah road and there was no public transport available for the people. A large number of commuters were seen looking for transport to reach their desired destinations.
The three-day mourning for the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) was observed all over the country. The main procession was taken out after a mourning congregation at Nishtar Park on Friday. It marched through MA Jinnah Road to reach Imambargah Hussainia Iranian Kharadar.
Mourning congregations were held in mosques and Imambargahs in other parts of the city, as well. Other processions were taken out from Ancholi, Kharadar, Soldier Bazar, Jafar-e-Tayyar, Drigh Road Sadat Colony, Landhi and Korangi. Allama Shahenshah Hussain Naqvi delivered a speech at the main Majlis-e-Aza at Nishtar Park.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) said that it had setup five emergency camps with the assistance of the fire brigade, rescue unit, ambulance services, and water tankers along the route of the central procession of Yaum-e-Ali.
The KMC also established a medical camp at Numaish Chowrangi to attend any emergency among the participants of the procession Metropolitan Commissioner of KMC Matanat Ali Khan said this on Friday during a visit to the central camp of the KMC at Mazar-e-Quaid.
He said that camps on five important locations including Numaish Chowrangi, Saddar Parking Plaza, NJV School Tibet Centre, Light House central office KMC, Bolton Market and Kakri Ground Kharadar, had been setup.
The central procession of Yaum-e-Ali was monitored by the command and control system working at the Civic Centre, said a KMC statement. The Metropolitan Commissioner of KMC also inspected the command & control room setup by the Jamshed zone at Nishter Park and also observed the monitoring of the procession through closed-circuit television cameras.
On this occasion, Senior Director Municipal Services Dr Shaukat Zaman and other high officials were present. The KMC said that every year it established emergency camps along the route of central procession of Yaum-e-Ali where standby arrangements were made to promptly attend any emergency among the mourners.
Khan further said that the central congregation was held at Nishter Park on the occasion of Yaum-e-Ali on the 21st of Ramazan for which arrangements had been made including cleanliness at Nishter Park, trimming of trees, functioning of streetlights, fumigation along the route of the central procession, removing objectionable graffiti on walls whereas city wardens were also deployed for the guidance of the mourners.
Senior Director Municipal Services Dr Shaukat Zaman said that the city wardens were deployed at different camps, and a camp with heavy machinery was also setup near the central office of the Municipal Services Department at the Civic Centre which had been a standby to fulfil emergency necessities.