CM tightens security during Muharram


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered the installation of additional CCTV camera-used during general elections and has directed law enforcement agencies to deploy a heavy force of police and rangers all over the province. The Sindh CM also directed 52 companies of the army to be kept in reserve so they could be called in case of emergency.

The meeting  which was chaired by the chief minister was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Advisor to CM Murtaza Wahab, DG Rangers Major General Omer Ahmed Bokhari, IG Sindh Dr Kaleem Imam, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahlwani, Adl IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Adl IG CTD Kamran Fazal, Adl IG Special Branch Imran Minhas, Secretary Local Government Khalid Hyder Shah, Sector Commanders of intelligence agencies, provincial head of the Intelligence Bureau, Col M. Nasir of 5 Corps, Col Faisal and other concerned officers.

The chief minister said that the fact no major terrorist incident took place in Sindh “showed that the political will of the government, and (the efforts of) law enforcement agencies, police, rangers and intelligence agencies has restored law and order to the province,” however, he said that more needed to be done

DG Rangers: Director General Rangers Major General Omer Ahmed Bokhari in his brief to the meeting said that the route of the Moharram procession had become longer because of the development works at M.A Jinnah Road “from Numaish towards Tibet Center.” He said that 7,700 Rangers personnel would be deployed along the procession. Adding that 3,400 Rangers personnel would be deployed in the East Zone, 600 in West Zone, 400 in Mirpurkhas division, 600 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 1000 at Sukkur and 1700 in Larkana division.

General Omer Bokhari said that 52 army companies (of the army) would be deployed all over Sindh, including 14 in Karachi, five in Hyderabad, four in Mirpurkhas, three in Shaheed Benazirabad, 10 in Sukkur and 16 in Larkana divisions.

IG Police: Inspector General police Dr Kaleem Imam during the briefing said that around 15,971 majalis were expected to be held across the province out of which 1,408 had been deemed ‘most sensitive’ while 5,199 were considered sensitive. He said that a total of 71,485 policemen and women would be deployed during the Islamic month out of which 7,044  mobile force and 52,725 static forces would also be included. In addition, 6,539 personnel are to be deployed at police pickets while 5,177 would stand-in reserve.

IGP Imam added that 3,793 mobiles, APCs, and motorcycles would also be deployed, including 1,652 in Karachi, 934 in Hyderabad Division, 210 in Mirpurkhas, 249 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 305 in Sukkur and 443 in Larkana division.

In Sindh 6,288 matmi processions are expected to be carried out, out of which 439 have been declared to be conducted in areas classified as ‘most sensitive’ while 1,788 would be carried out in areas considered ‘sensitive’. Nearly 737 Tazia processions are also going to be held, of which nine have been declared as being carried out in ‘most sensitive’ areas while 242 would be conducted in areas deemed ‘sensitive’.

The IGP told the meeting that air surveillance would be conducted from 8th Moharram in 21 different places in Karachi, six in Hyderabad division, one at Shaheed Benazirabad, seven at Sukkur and five in Larkana division. Similarly, 93 mobile phone jammers would be installed all over Sindh. Some 856 containers have been obtained to block some roads leading to the procession.

Traffic arrangement: He (IGP) said that 1,022 traffic policemen would be deployed in the province which includes five SSPs, 11 DSPs, 13 inspectors, 334 NGOs, 164 HCs and 495 PCs.

Additional IG Karachi: Adl IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon the meeting that the 9th Moharram procession starts at 12 noon from NishtarPark. Its route would be Nishtar Park, Guru Mandar – New M.A Jinnah Road and Namze Zihrain would be offered at VVIP Gate of Mazar-e-Quaid. Then the procession would pass through Peoples Roundabout, New M.A Jinnah Road, Saddar Dawakhan, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Tibet Center, Plastic Market to Hussainian Iranian Imambargah. There are accepted to be over 30,000 participants in the procession.

Talking about the 10th Moharram procession, Adl IG Karachi said that it would start from Nishatar Park. The route would be the same but Nimaze Zihrain would be offered at Tibet Center at 1.30pm. The procession would end at Hussianina Iranian Imambrgah at 1800 hours. There are expected to be more than 50,000 participants.

Mr Memon said in light of the potential threats, walkthroughs were being installed and police would be deployed on rooftops of nearby buildings. The bomb disposal squad would sweep the areas and all entry points to the procession would be kept under strict watch and scanning of every individual would be conducted.

He said that ambulances and other escorting vehicles have been issued security passes. The media vans would also have stickers/security passes. There would be heavy deployments at the head and ten-ends of the processions. An SP level officer would lead the procession and maintain close coordination with religious leaders and their Peace Committee members. Some 167 roof-top/buildings on the route of the procession would be guarded by 334 policemen.

The movement of the procession would be monitored through CCTV cameras from the Command & Control Center while CCTV vans would cover the procession.

The meeting was told that from Moharram 1st to 10th Moharram there are expected to be 6,028 majalis in the city which would be guarded by 1073 policemen.

He said that Isolation of Scene team, team for arresting miscreants/accused and evacuation teams had already been formed.

Ban on pillion Ridding: The chief minister approved the ban on pillion riding from the night of 8th Moharram. He directed the IG police to start  snap checking all over Sindh. He said he was not in favour of the ban on pillion riding but the killing of a doctor by two motorcyclists has forced him to reconsider his stand.

Commissioner Karachi: Briefing the meeting, Commissioner Karachi said that he has constituted peace committees which have met with deputy commissioners and also held meetings with him. He said that the repair of patch work and provision of water and power to the areas has also been directed.

Home Secretary: Home Secretary Kazi Kabir told the meeting about the code of conduct he has shared with the district administration and said that the peace committees have been formed in every district where the meetings were in progress.

He further said that he has issued directives to all the deputy commissioners to keep the majalis areas and Moharram processions clean and to provide all possible facilities.

Kazi Kabir said that 484 trouble-spots/flashpoints have been identified all over Sindh including which 245 are in Karachi, 31 are in Hyderabad, 33 in Mirpurkhas, 12 in Shaheed Benazirabad, 72 in Sukkur and 91 are in Larkana divisions

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the IG Police and Rangers to keep strict security on all the exit and entry points with Balochistan. Special focus must be made on the movement of terrorists on the Sindh-Balochistan and Punjab borders. He urged the police and Rangers to conduct an operation on all entry points so that potential miscreants could be apprehended.

He directed Commissioner Karachi and Secretary Local Government to repair all roads leading to the procession and Majalis areas. He stressed that the sewerage system and provision of water to their Imambargah and majalis must be ensured. He also ordered the repair of street lights and urged the commissioner to ensure no power outage in these areas.

Operation against dacoits: The chief minister also said that he wanted to chair a meeting to launch operation against dacoits in katcha area but Moharram was more important, therefore “I don’t want to divide the focus,” he said and added just after Moharram he would be sit with law enforcement agencies to chalk out a detailed plan to crackdown on dacoits.