32,000 security personnel to guard Muharram processions


Police have decided to shut down Lahore on the 9th and 10th of Muharram after receiving information of terrorist threats.
According to details, the police force has requested an additional 8,000 security personnel to be brought in to Lahore from other cities to keep the law and order situation in check. The total strength of deputed personnel in Lahore stands at 32,000.
Similarly, around 15,000 police personnel would be deployed for the security of the central Muharram processions, while walk through gates and CCTV cameras have been installed at the 5,000 imambargahs of the city and the Zuljinnah procession routes.
In addition, 150 sniffer dogs have been brought into the city and the provincial government has requested Pakistan Army (PA) for two helicopters to be used during emergency situations.
According to sources, the Punjab government had sent a letter to PA and requested them to provide the services of soldiers for maintaining security, while the previous night the first lot of sniffer dogs were handed over to the provincial government by the military.
All DCOs have been directed to immediately contact the authorities concerned if additional deployment was required in certain areas. Furthermore, PA and Rangers officials would also encircle different city routes on the 9th and 10th of Muharram to maintain strict vigilance to avoid any untoward incident from happening.
Officials from the investigation and operation departments of police including Elite force, Mujahid squads and others would finalise the deployment schedule on the 8th of Muharram (Friday).
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Habib Ur Rehman had directed officials concerned to ban pillion riding in the city on the 9th and 10th of Muharram, while a decision to block mobile phone services in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and 20 other cities had also been taken by the law enforcing agencies.
Due to the sensitive security situations, the DCO directed the authorities concerned to entirely seal the Ashura procession routes after 10 pm starting from the 8th of Muharram. Furthermore, the procession leaders and participants would be escorted to Gamay Shah immediately after maghrib prayers.
In order to facilitate the mourners and ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity, generators have been installed at Mochi Gate, Bhai Chowk and lower mall police station.