RAWALPINDI – The Chehlum processions of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) were brought out in different parts of the city amid foolproof security measures made by the law enforcement agencies with no untoward incident reported in any part of the city.
There was no signal of mobile phones on the eve of Chehlum causing immense communication troubles among the citizens.
The main procession was taken out from Imambargah Col Maqbool Hussain College Road, from the area of Police Station (PS) City, which was joined by a number of small processions that were brought out from Imambargah Hifazat Ali Shah (Bohar Bazaar), Imambargah Ashiq Hussain (Taili Mohala), Imambargah Biltistania and Imambargah Shahchan Chirag enlarging the size of main procession.
Later, the main procession culminated at Imambargah Qadeemi after preceding its traditional routes Fawara Chowk, Sarafa Bazaar and Raja Bazaar.
Similarly, a procession appeared from Imambargah Bilitistania that ended at Imambargah Qadeemi after marching on its traditional routes.
Several small processions were also taken out from various Imambargahs ahead of the grand procession and were attended by a large number of mourners.
The mourners, on their way, were holding emblems and recited poems in honor of the martyrs of Karbala.
On the other hand, 15 religious sittings were also held in the city.
By deputing 2389 well-equipped Police Jawans, strict security arrangements were adopted under the supervision of City Police Officer (CPO) Azhar Hameed Khokher. Volunteers of Imamia Students Organization (ISO), Mukhtar Force and Imamia Organization also cooperated with police. Strict checking of vehicles and passersby was made at all entry and exit points of the city.
On all entry points walk-through gates were set up with cops holding metal detectors. They conducted complete body frisk of the devotees before allowing them to go inside the Imambargahs and Majalisis. A helicopter also kept hovering over the city to monitor the Chehlum processions.
Business activities also remained suspended as most shops and markets were closed down in the inner parts of the city.
Scores of road-side Sabeels and charity food stalls were also set up to provide sweet water and rice, Haleem and other food items to the participants of the processions.
Motorbike riders also violated ban on pillion riding placed by the Punjab government in almost all the areas of the city while police and traffic wardens seemed helpless in taking any action against the violators.
The administration of the three teaching hospitals - District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ), Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), were put on high alert to cope with any emergency situation while the leaves of all the doctors were cancelled as well.