LAHORE: The martyrdom day of fourth caliph Hazrat Ali (RA) was observed on Wednesday with traditional religious solemnity and spirit amid tight security measures.
Devotees held Majalis, conferences and took out Tazia Alam processions in various cities to highlight his personality and achievements. In Lahore, the traditional Tazia Alam procession was taken out from Mubarak Haveli inside Mochi Gate early Wednesday morning and culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah in the evening shortly before Iftar time after passing through its traditional route. The route of the procession included Imambargah Ghulam Ali Shah, Chowk Nawab Sahab, Mochi Gate, Lal Khoo, Fazal Haveli, Takia Nathay Shah, Koocha Shian, Chuhatta Mufti Baqar, Old Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazaar, Dabbi Bazaar, Sunehri masjid, Paniwala Talab, Chowk Nogaza, Chawk Tarannum cinema, Chowk Tibbi, Bazaar Hakeeman, Chowk Novelty, Mohalla Jogian, Oonchi masjid and Bhaati Gate.
The proceedings began with the recitation of Quran followed by Nohas and the description of the invaluable services rendered by Hazrat Ali (RA) for the cause of Islam, and an account of the events which led to his martyrdom. The procession was led by leading Zakerin while different groups of Matam observers and Noha Khwans paid tributes to the caliph during the procession by conducting flagellation (Matam).
Volunteers and doctors with ambulances were accompanying the procession to provide first aid to the mourners on the spot and also shift to hospitals those needed further treatment. The participants had Iftar at Karbala Gamay Shah after the culmination of the procession. In view of the prevailing security situation, the District government had taken strict security measures for the procession, deploying over four thousand police personnel and a large number of reserved police personnel on the route and other sensitive places. Besides, the policemen have taken positions at the rooftops of the buildings along the route and nobody will be allowed to stand and watch from the rooftops and balconies. Special control rooms were established at different points monitor the situation, both manually and through close circuit cameras installed at sensitive points for the purpose. Scanners were erected at the entry points of the procession route while participants were subjected to scanning by metal detectors before they were allowed to join the procession.
As special security measures this year, the district administration deputed a second layer of security along the outskirts of the walled city comprising of police mobile squad which kept close eye on the activities on all the main roads adjacent to the procession route. However, the devotees lamented that District government had not cleaned waste disposal bins along the route of the procession which could be used by the terrorists to install explosive devices.
Meanwhile, speakers of different seminars and conferences held at various Imambargahs, including Jamia Al-Muntazir Model Town, Imambargah Mubarak Begum Bhaati gate, Kirshan Nagar, Lytton road and others where Zakerin paid tributes to the qualities and achievements of Hazrat Ali (RA). Various religious organisations held meetings to commemorate the personality and achievements of the fourth caliph and urged the Muslims to follow his footsteps to regain the lost grandeur of the Ummah.