KARACHI - The central procession to mark the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA) culminated peacefully at Imambargah Hussainian Iranian, Kharadar, amid tight security on Wednesday.

A number of small processions begin from separate parts of the city rushed at Nishter Park where noted scholar Maulana Kumail Mehdavi addressed participants of the main Majlis-e-Aza and highlighted various noble aspects of the life of Hazrat Ali (RA).

Following the end of Majlis-e-Aza, the procession set off from Nishtar Park under the leadership of the Abu-Turab Scouts. It passed through MA Jinnah Road where mourners offered their Zuhrain prayers at MA Jinnah Road near Imambargha Ali Raza, organised by the Imamia Students Organization (ISO).

After the Zuhrain prayers, Shia missing persons release committee also held a protest while demanding the immediate recovery of the missing persons from across the country. A large number of the family members of the missing persons including women and children were also participated a sit-in. “Our over 140 people are missing across the country,” claimed Rashid Rizvi, a leader of the Shia missing persons release committee.

He said that no law of land allow of abduct a person and kept in custody without the disclosing the whereabouts of the person. The participants of the procession demanded chief of army staff and chief justice of Pakistan to help them in recoveries their loved ones before the Eidul Fitr.

The procession resumed followed by the sit-in protest from MA Jinnah Road and made its way towards the traditional destination, passing through MA Jinnah Road, Sadder, Empress Market, Regal Chowk, Preedy Street, Tibbat Center and Kharadar before ending peacefully at Imambargah Hussainian Iranian. Thousands of mourners, including women and children were among the participants of the procession.

The law enforcement agencies made strict security arrangements across the city, particularly on the route of procession, to avert any untoward incident. At least 5,572 police officers and constables performed duties in the metropolis on Youm-e-Ali while at least 72 police vehicles, 65 motorcycles, seven armoured vehicles were also the part of the security plan of Youm-e-Ali procession.

Moreover, the Sindh Home Department had already imposed a ban on pillion riding in Karachi and Hyderabad for Youm-e-Ali as what the home department had stated that the decision was taken after additional inspector generals (AIGs) of Karachi and Hyderabad requested for the ban in the light of security concerns.

Thousands of volunteers, who were deployed for the security of the procession, cordoned off the entire route with the help of police and Rangers personnel. The city police claimed to have made foolproof security arrangements for the safety of the mourners along the route of the procession.

All streets and alleyways adjoining the main MA Jinnah Road were sealed to prohibit entry of irrelevant persons and vehicles, while all nearby markets remained closed on the directions of the provincial government.

Apart from the religious organizations, including the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, ISO and Shia Ulema Council, several civic bodies such as the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had set up first-aid medical camps at different spots along MA Jinnah Road to facilitate the mourners.