Islamabad - The main 9th Muharram procession in the federal capital concluded peacefully under the strict security blanket of law enforcement agencies on Saturday.

The procession started at afternoon, followed its traditional route and ended at evening within due time settled by the city administration.

Along with the heavy deployment of security forces, including police and rangers, the volunteers were also present to keep the security cordon strict.

After the Majlis-e-Aza, the procession moved from the Main Imambargah of G-6 and passing through the streets 33 to 40, Sector (G-6/1&2) and Melody Market, ended at its beginning point Imambargah Asna-e-Ashri.

Along with human security, walkthrough gates were also installed at different entry points from where the participants were being allowed after verifying their National Identity Cards (CNICs).

A large number of people, including families reached the procession to show respect and acknowledge the sacrifice of Karbala martyrs.

Long queues of vehicles were seen parked at the Jinnah Avenue and the participants had to walk to meet the procession.

Meanwhile, strict security measures also caused difficulties for the commuters without personal vehicles, they have to walk kilometers.

Fazl-e-Haq Road, from Kulsoom International Hospital to Polyclinic Chowk was closed from both ends for all kind of movement.  The entry point of Kulsoom International Hospital was closed by placing containers.

As per the security plan issued by the administration, around 3,500 police and other agencies personnel deployed on the route guarded the procession. Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) also accompanied the security forces. 

SSP Islamabad Sajid Kiyani talking to media said that strict security measures have been taken to avoid any untoward situation and the police personnel are actively performing their duty.

He also said that Ulema and administration have successfully negotiated to culminate the procession after Maghrib.

Similarly, the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) also deployed more than 500 officials on various routes and announced diversion plan of the traffic.

According to plan, the 7th Avenue from F-6 Chowk to Soharwardi Road, likewise Fazal-e-Haq Road from China Chowk to Kalsum Plaza were closed for general traffic. 

The road from Iqbal Hall to Melody Chowk, Municipal Road from Markazi Jamia Masjid to Polyclinic Chowk, Luqman e Hakeem Road from Polyclinic to Lal Quarter while G-6 service road from G-6/2 Chowk to Lal Quarter Chowk were also closed and traffic was diverted.

Another procession started from Imambargah Musa Kazim in Sector I-10, begun at 12:00pm and ended at morning 5:00 after passing through various routes.

Various roads, including I-10 Markaz, CDA Chowk #1, Katarian bridge, IJP Road (Pirwdhai and Faizabad area) remained closed for traffic while citizens were diverted to IJP road to reach I-10 (Sabzi Mandi) from Faizabad, Murree road, Bhara Kau or Khana bridge.

The said avenues and roads leading to Imambargahs remained closed for general traffic for twelve hours from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

The metro bus services also remained suspended in the city; however the mobile service was not jammed despite taking other security measures.

Hospitals on High Alert

The federal capital hospitals, including Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) hospital also remained on high alert during the 9th Muharram procession.

As per the notification issued by PIMS administration, PIMS is put on high alert during 30-09-2017 to 01-10-2017. All heads of the departments, in-charges of Clinical and Non-Clinical Areas are requested to make necessary arrangements to cope with any untoward situation.

Moreover, it should be strictly ensured that shift staff remains available at their place of duty and concerned officials are requested to keep their cell phones/land line ‘On’ and stay in contact on the telephone exchange for update”.

Talking to The Nation, Spokesperson FGSH (Polyclinic) hospital Dr Sharif Astori said that the hospital is on high alert and facilitating the mourners in procession.

He said that two ambulances and a medical team moved along with the procession for medical aid while other ambulances are also ready.

“As the Imambargah was near to Polyclinic hospital so the work load is more as compared to others,” he said.

Dr Astori also said that five cases of heatstroke and six flagellated mourners were brought into the hospital and were discharged after giving first aid. 

As per the comprehensive security plan for Muharram more than 11,500 security personnel, including federal police, rangers and Frontier Constabulary would perform its duty. 

He also said the blood bank kept 100 bags in its reserves for emergency situation.

 

rahul basharat