Only a select few can enter shrines after 8pm, Data Darbar open to all


– One female constable deputed at Bibi Pak Daman shrine to check female visitors
– 234 Lahore shrines divided into three categories
– Suicide bombers could target Shia gathering on October 10 at Nasir Bagh
After the devastating attack on the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi, Lahore Police has decided to restrict entry of visitors into all shrines in the city after 8pm except the Data Darbar, Pakistan Today learnt on Friday.
Police was forced to make foolproof security arrangements in the aftermath of the twin suicide bombings in Karachi. Civil Lines Superintendent of Police (SP) Umer Saeed accompanied by the Garhi Shahu SP visited the shrine of Bibi Pak Damin and reviewed the security arrangements. He ordered officials to increase the number of policemen stationed at the shrine from 35 to 70. Saeed said that the shrine’s security had been beefed up but citizens should not be put in an awkward position. It is pertinent to mention here that mostly females visited the shrine and only one female constable was deputed for checking the female devotees. According to sources, police had also deployed extra policemen at the Data Darbar along with female constables. City Division SP Faisal Gulzar visited the Data Darbar and reviewed the security arrangements. The SP said that he had directed all police officials to remain vigilant and watch out for suspicious elements. Gulzar denied that the entry of devotees had been restricted and directed all officials to check every visitor entering the shrine. According to sources, the city administration had directed all concerned departments to restrict the entry of visitors into all shrines after 8pm except the Data Darbar.
Police officials had selected only 66 shrines out of the total 234 in the city for providing extra security. According to officials, the 234 shrines would be divided into three categories of A, B and C. The A category included only six shrines including the Data Darbar, Bibi Pak Damin, Mian Mir Darbar, Madhu Lal Hussain, Shah Jamal, Darbar Peer Makki and Sher Shah Wali Darbar. Around 60 shrines fall in the B category while the rest were included in the C category. According to sources, security was beefed up at only the A category shrines while only one or two policemen had been deployed at shrines of the B and C categories. According to sources, the C category shrines were left at the mercy of the respective police stations. They said that police always deputed officials to perform duties at the shrine but never bothered to install walk through gates and CCTV cameras.
It is pertinent to mention here that terrorists had targeted two shrines of the C category before. The shrines of Khaki Shah in Green Town police precincts and Baba Jameel Shah in Shahdara police precincts had been targeted with crackers resulting in low-intensity blasts. Although, no casualties were reported in both the incidents but the incidents had exposed the weaknesses of the police department. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Nayyab Haider said that police had not ordered the closure of all shrines after 8pm except the Data Darbar. According to intelligence reports, three suicide bombers had entered Lahore and could target a Shia gathering on October 10 at Nasir Bagh.