Rawalpindi-The mourning processions of 9th and 10th Muharram passed peacefully in different areas of the twin cities of Rawalpindi as the security steps were further upgraded by the police bosses and district administrations. 

There were two most important processions from security point of view. In Rawalpindi, one procession was from an Imambargah form Chitian Hattian and ended at Colonel Maqbool Imamm Bargah at Raja Bazaar. The procession of Alam Zuljinah was carried out at 11am when thousands of Shia mourners took part in the procession and marched on Iqbal Road, College Road to Raja Bazaar.

The second big mourning procession was brought out from Imam Bargah Fatmia Hathi Chowk at Saddar in the evening at 5pm and marched on Railway Road, passing through Koila centre and returned to the Imambargah from where it was started.

There were strict security measures taken by the city police officer Muhammad Ahsan Younas by deputing some 6,600 well-equipped cops and officers to guard mourners.

All roads leading to the routes of the processions and the Imambargahs were closed with barbed wires and armed policemen guarded the link roads. 

On the occasion, the city traffic police, under command of Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Syed Ali Akbar, made comprehensive arrangements to control traffic flow. 

At all entry points, walk-through gates were installed and policemen with metal detectors searched every participant of the procession and the visitors.

The entry for the processions was allowed only after identification by the volunteers arranged by organisers for the security purposes.

Meanwhile, roadside food stalls were allowed for mourners after getting permission from the district administration and go ahead from the organisers of the processions. SP Rawal Division Rai Mazhar supervised all the security arrangements. A visit to different areas of the city revealed that the most parts of the city remained deserted throughout the day as it was a public holiday.

All hospitals run by Punjab government in the city remained on high alert to respond to any emergency. The hospital staff remained present on Saturday and Sunday to deal with any emergency situation. Rescue 1122 rescuers also provided medical aid to Azadars. 

District administration arranged two temporary dispensaries on the routes of the main procession to treat the mourners in case of emergency. In the meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Capt (R) Anwaar Ul Haq and Commissioner Muhammad Mehmood had a meeting with the city traders to maintain peace and law and order situation in city. 

Meanwhile, CPO Muhammad Ahsan Younas appreciated the efforts of his force for managing peace and law and order situation on Youm-e-Ashur. He said Youm-e-Ashur passed peacefully just because of tireless efforts of Jawans of Rawalpindi police. 

Unknown pocket pickers deprived scores of mourners of mobile phones and purses in the main procession of Youm-e-Ashur. 

On the other hand, Islamabad police achieved success in maintaining law and order during Muharram due to effective coordination among all wings of the force.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan appreciated the performance of the Operational Wing headed by DIG (Operations) Waqar Uddin Syed who ensured effective security on Muharram. He also thanked the personnel of other law enforcement agencies for their cooperation and lauded officials and jawans of Islamabad police.

Islamabad police including Rangers and personnel of other law enforcement agencies performed patrolling and security duties on the occasion of Muharram and all processions were completely cordoned off through heavy deployment.

Following the directions of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, DIG (Operations) Waqar Uddin Syed, Additional SP Security (Operations), all SPs, SDPOs, SHOs and other police officials visited the routes of processions and ensured effective coordination among the security personnel performing duties. Police officials guided the cops and boosted their morale in accomplishing duties in a responsible manner.

The IGP also directed all officials to meet with those cops who performed Muharram duties and further encourage them. He also appreciated performance of staff who remained vigilant to ensure protection to lives and property of citizens.

Flag marches were also conducted in various areas of the city to show off preparedness of law enforcement agencies for security during Muharram.

Hundreds of religious gatherings (majalis) and processions were held in the city and strict security arrangements on these occasions and special checking of participants was also observed.

The personnel of Islamabad Traffic Police performed duties on the occasion to divert traffic on alternate routes and guided the road users. 

Metal detectors were used for checking of participants of majalis, processions and high vigilance was maintained by the police officials which helped in peaceful holding of all events in connection with Muharram.

IGP Islamabad Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan has further directed to ensure foolproof security arrangements for upcoming gatherings and devise an effective strategy to maintain law and order.