The martyrdom of first imam and fourth caliph of Islam, Hazrat Ali Ibne Abu Talib (AS), was commemorated across the country on Thursday amid tight security arrangements, especially made for the occasion.
Hazrat Ali (AS) passed away on 21st of Ramzan after he was attacked with a poisonous sword while offering Fajr prayers in a mosque in Kufa by a rebel known by the name of Ibne Muljim. Shia Muslims take out processions and organise gatherings to mourn the event.
In Lahore, a mourning procession was taken out from Mubarik Haveli which passed through Chowk Nawab Sahab, Mochi Gate, Muhallah Shia’n, Old Kotwali, Kashmir Bazar and Bhati Gate before concluding at Karbala Gamay Shah. The procession participants offered Zuhr prayers at Chowk Rang Mahal.
As part of security measures, the procession routes were divided into 12 sectors and eight entry points were made where 33 walkthrough gates were installed. Monitoring of sensitive areas was carried out through CCTV cameras, three drone cameras and a helicopter while cellular services along the procession route remained suspended.
In Karachi, the main mourning procession was taken out from Nishtar Park around 1pm that passed through MA Jinnah Road.
More than 11,000 policemen and 1,000 Rangers personnel were deployed in the city whereas containers were placed on the roads to secure the procession. As many as 223 police commandos were deployed on 223 buildings and snipers were deployed at 22 nearby high-rise buildings to protect the mourners.
Moreover, the police used an anti-IED robot for the first time during the clearance operation. The robot has the capability to defuse a bomb.
In Quetta, pillion riding was banned for two days under Section 144 as part of the security arrangements for Youm-e-Ali (AS) procession.
The main procession passed through Nechari Chowk, Alamdar Chowk, Abdullah Masjid Street, Kansi Road, Megangi Road, Archer Road Cross, Art School Road, Prince Road, Safeer Masjid Chowk and concluded at Alamdar Road, Nechari Chowk.
Heavy contingents of security men comprising more than 1,500 police, ATF, BC and RRG personnel were deployed for security of the procession. Bomb disposal squad had carried out sweeping operation using sniffer dogs and special tools on the procession routes. Participants were not allowed to enter the rally without special pass.
Furthermore, in Peshawar, the district administration has imposed section 144 for three days to avert any untoward incident. According to a notification issued by Deputy Commission Peshawar Riaz Mehsud, Section 144 has been imposed from July 8 to 10 to maintain law and order in the city.