Friday October 07, 2022

8th Muharram processions held amid tight security

August 18, 2021

To pay homage to the martyrs of Karbala, the main mourning procession of 8th Muharram in Karachi passed through its traditional route for the most part and culminated at the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in the Kharadar neighbourhood on Tuesday evening.

The procession was held under strict security measures that included a partial suspension of mobile phone services to avoid any untoward incident. Smaller processions issued from Incholi in Federal B Area, Pehlwan Goth in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Jafar-e-Tayyar Society in Malir, Old Rizvia Society, New Rizvia Society, Qasba Colony, Abbas Town and Soldier Bazaar.

The smaller processions later joined the main procession at the Nishtar Park, from where the rally proceeded through its traditional route for the most part. A large number of people, including women and children, participated in the central procession.

A Majlis-e-Aza was also held that was addressed by a noted Shia scholar, who highlighted the matchless sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA). He said the mission of Imam Hussain (RA) was distinctly unique and revolutionary in nature.

“Imam Hussain’s (RA) sacrifices to save Islam are still remembered across the Muslim world. Each of us should act as Imam Hussain (RA), because by following in Imam Hussain’s (RA) footsteps, we can revive the spirit of Karbala.”

The Karachi police had issued a security and traffic management plan for the processions to be held on the 8th, 9th and 10th Muharram. A spokesperson for the police said that they were carrying out duties at various locations for the security of the Muharram processions, with a contingent of 2,938 officials securing the 8th Muharram processions.

“Karachi police will continue to play their role for the protection of the lives and properties of the people and for the restoration of law and order,” added the spokesperson. According to the traffic plan issued for 8th Muharram, the procession started from the Nishtar Park and ended at the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar.

The procession passed through Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto Road, Mehfil-e-Shah-e-Khurasan, MA Jinnah Road (Point A), Mansfield Street, Preedy Street, Tibet Chowk, MA Jinnah Road (Point B), Baba-e-Urdu, Chand Bibi Chowk, Nishtar Road, Nigar Cinema, Altaf Hussain Road, Denso Hall, MA Jinnah Road (Point C), Kharadar police station and Bombay Bazaar before reaching the Hussainian Iranian Imambargah.

There were over 30,000 mourners in the procession. All the roads and streets that were part of the route of the procession were sealed with containers and other barricades. Officials with the law enforcement agencies were deployed along the route for the protection of the main procession as well as the venues of different Majalis.

The procession was also monitored at the Command & Control Centre set up at the Central Police Office as well as at the Civic Centre through security cameras installed along the route. Security officials were also deployed on the roofs of the buildings along the route to monitor the procession. Scouts organisations, rescue services and the city administration had also made the necessary arrangements to facilitate the participants of the procession.

Emergency had already been declared at all the public hospitals of the city and in other parts of the province, with instructions to doctors and paramedical staff to be available as well as to ensure the availability of medicines.

Three protective circles were formed by scouts, police and Rangers, who surrounded the procession, while sharpshooters were deployed on over 150 roofs along the route. Staying ahead of the procession, bomb disposal teams kept clearing the area.

All link roads were sealed, commercial areas closed and movements other than the procession banned. The procession route was sealed, as shops and markets located on both sides of MA Jinnah Road were closed under the security plan issued by the Karachi police.