Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has formed a committee comprising provincial ministers Saeed Ghani and Syed Nasir Shah, and adviser Murtaza Wahab to hold a meeting with Ulema for the implementation of a code of conduct for Muharram.
“I would personally meet with Ulema of different sects and take them into confidence on the decisions taken for their security,” he said presiding over a meeting on law and order on Monday.
The meeting was attended by ministers Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah, CM’s adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman, Additional IG Special Branch Dr Waliullah Dal, Additional IG Karachi Dr Ameer Shaikh, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Home Secretary Kazi Kabir, Karachi Commissioner Sualeh Farooqui, and Secretary Local Government Khalid Hyder Shah. The DIGs of all the administrative divisions of the province and the commissioners were taken on the video call.
The chief minister said that religious scholars of different schools of thought had played a very constructive role in maintaining sectarian harmony among the people of the province; therefore, there was no chance of any untoward incident during the holy month of Muharram.
He announced that his government would take strict security measures and implement the code of conduct devised for security.
Home Secretary Kazi Kabir briefed the meeting about the code of conduct for all religious and other organisations for maintaining law and order during Muharram.
The CM directed the district administrations and law enforcement agencies to ensure peace, tranquility and inter-sectarian harmony.
The home secretary said all the DIGs of police in the province had been directed to assess and provide adequate security to all notable people till the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA). He added that peace committees’ meetings were being held at all levels of the province.
Additional Inspector General of Police Karachi Dr Ameer Shaikh told the meeting that that there were 1,996 Imambargahs in the province, of them 356 were in Karachi, 590 Hyderabad Division, 118 Mirpurkhas, 93 Shaheed Benazirabad, 374 Sukkur and 456 in Larkana Division in the province.
He said that there would be 3,513 Muharram-related processions in the province, of them 319 had been categorised as most sensitive, 1,059 sensitive and 2,135 normal.
The meeting was told that out of 786 Majalis to be held all over Sindh, 11 were most sensitive, 312 sensitive and 463 normal. In order to provide complete security to the Muharram processions, 69,545 policemen would be deployed.
The deployment of police in Karachi would be 17,558, in Hyderabad 16,816, Mirpurkhas 2,237, Shaheed Benazirabad 9,280, Sukkur 8,253 and Larkana Division 15,401. The Rangers would deploy a force of around 7000 all over Sindh.
The police and other law-enforcement agencies have established close coordination. For the purpose, a control room has been set up in Karachi for timely dissemination of information.
A mechanism has been evolved to share intelligence reports, joint meetings of the stakeholders were in progress and joint intelligence-based operations were being carried out and joint flag marches would be held.
The chief minister directed the Karachi commissioner to use CCTV cameras procured for monitoring polling stations during the general election. “We can use these CCTV cameras at the place where ever they are required,” he said.
The meeting was told that the processions of 8th, 9th and 10thMuharram would be monitored through 184 CCTV cameras. Forty-three different spots of procession routes would also be monitored through 55 mobile cameras and 129 fixed cameras. The centralised command and control room has been established at the CPO and regional command centre at the Civic Centre.
Chief Minister Shah directed Minister Local Government Saeed Ghani to mobilise the concerned local bodies for the repair/patch work of roads, where necessary, the lifting of debris, solid waste and the removal of other obstructions from areas which have been designated as routes of processions or majalis.
He ordered general cleanliness, ensuring manhole covers and the availability of fire tenders and waste browsers. He also issued directives for the removal of loose cables in coordination with K-Electric, Hesco, Sesco, telephone companies and cable operators.
Under the code of conduct, no criticism of any sect or sacred personalities would be allowed. The ban on the purchase, sale and transmission of hate/objectionable material has been imposed.
The police would record all speeches of prominent leading speakers, and there would be a restriction on the hoisting of political, sectarian flags, banners at public places.
There was a complete ban on carrying weapons and the observation of people included in Schedule IV and restricted the use of loudspeakers has been allowed.
The chief minister said that the districts of Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Larkana were sensitive; therefore, strict security measures should be taken there.
At this, the DIGs of Larkana and Sukkur told the chief minister that all check posts located along with Sindh-Balochistan and Sindh-Punjab borders had been fortified further to check the movement of people along and across the border.
Chief Minister Shah gave clear instructions to police for curbing street crime. The police told the chief minister that they had started intelligence-based operations against street criminals, car-lifters and bandits. This operation would give the best results within the next few days, the city police chief said.