Saturday June 15, 2024

Ashura processions conclude peacefully

By Asim Hussain
July 31, 2023

LAHORE:The nation observed Ashura with traditional religious solemnity and spirit on Saturday to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions at Karbala in 61 AH some 14 centuries ago.

The security measures were so successful that for the first time in 15 years the selective ban on mobile phones in sensitive areas and pillion riding, etc. were also lifted on this sensitive day. The government officials claim that they had given up selective mobile service ban on the route of the central Zuljanah procession and others which all remained peaceful.

The district administration managed security by closing down both sides of the procession route and only allowing the mourners to enter after having their ID cards checked. Nobody was allowed to join the procession in the middle and all such people were refused entry. These measures were in addition to the traditional security arrangements including army helicopters kept monitoring the procession while the special police squad moved ahead of the procession, kept checking and clearing the route before allowing it to proceed further.

This procedure delayed the procession for a few hours to reach its destination, Karbala Gamay Shah. Various Zuljanah, Alam and Tazia processions were taken out from different parts of the city which marched from their traditional routes before joining the central Zuljanah procession.

The central Zuljanah procession which emerged from Nisar Haveli inside Mochi Gate on Friday night, passed through its traditional route and culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah near Data Darbar on Saturday night. Prior to that, the procession was behind its schedule because of tight security as it was stopped for a security check at several places causing a delay. The route of the main Zuljanah procession was closed from both sides with barbed wires and even the residents of the areas were allowed to pass after body search and scanning with metal detectors. Besides, special gates for scanning explosives and weapons were also placed at different entry points. Rangers patrolled some parts of the city.