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April 9, 2020

Tightened lockdown measures prevent people from visiting graveyards on Shab-e-Barat

Karachi

April 9, 2020

As the lockdown conditions in the city had not been as strict in the recent days as they were before in the initial days of the lockdown, many people were hopeful about going to graveyards on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat but strict security measures implemented by the law enforcers did not let them do so.

The Sindh government had asked the people to observe the holy night by offering prayers at their homes but a large number of people tried to go to graveyards to pray for their loved ones.

Strict security measures were taken by the law enforcement agencies as they intensified the lockdown on Wednesday to force people stay at home and avoid visiting graveyards to offer Fateha at the graves of their family members.

The law enforcers not only enhanced security measures in the surroundings of the graveyards but security personnel were also put on high alert on the main arteries of the city to make it difficult for the citizens to reach the graveyards.

Police and the Rangers were deputed at the graveyards the entire day. While closing all the entry and exit points of the graveyards, they also blocked the roads leading to the cemeteries by parking tankers and trucks and cordoning off the surroundings with ropes.

According to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, there are around 200 registered graveyards in the city, of which 28 have been closed for burials due to no further space. The closed graveyards include the Sakhi Hasan Graveyard, Paposh Nagar Graveyard, Mewa Shah Graveyard, Shah Faisal Colony Graveyard, Mohajir Camp Graveyard, Society Graveyard, Yaseenabad Graveyard, alNoor Federal B Area Graveyard, Ilyas Goth Graveyard in Liaquatabad, Jahangirabad Graveyard in Golimar, Model Colony Graveyard No 1, Jaffer Tayyar Society Graveyard and alFateh Graveyard in Orangi.

“I attempted to go to the graveyard but I was unable to do so as all the roads were already blocked by deputing a large number of law enforcers compared to the other days of the lockdown,” a citizen, Umair Baig, told The News. “Unluckily, I was unable. So finally I offered Fateha for my loved ones who are no more with us on the road where I was stopped by law enforcers.”

Sensing that they would not be allowed by the government to go to graveyards on Wednesday, many people visited cemeteries on Monday and Tuesday. “My mother was continuously telling us [the speaker and his brothers] to visit the grave of Papa a day before Shab-e-Barat as she had already feared that the government will not allow on the day,” said a citizen, Farhan Khan. “We followed our mother’s instructions and visited the graveyard on Tuesday. From doing this, at least we visited the graveyard and offered Fateha.”

Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon had also announced that the citizens would not be allowed to visit the graveyards on Shab-e-Barat.

He had told the people that the city police would set up pickets at 200 points to ensure that the lockdown measures remained intact. “People are also requested not to pray in congregations in mosques,” he had said.