LAHORE – The Punjab government has declared 10 districts as sensitive while the police, intelligence, and law enforcing agencies have been put on high-alert across the province to ensure foolproof security for Youm-e-Ali (R.A) to be observed on 21st of Ramazan – on Friday (today).

Well-informed sources further revealed that at least five locations in Lahore have been identified as “very sensitive” situated on the route of the procession of Youm-e-Ali (RA). The police commandoes and plainclothesmen from the Special Branch would be deployed on the route of the procession to keep vigilant eye on the activities of the miscreants. All routes of the Youm-e-Ali (RA) procession would be sealed while snap checking would also be conducted at different points.

In City, main procession will be taken out from Mubarik Haveli that will culminate at Karbla Gamey Shah after passing through traditional route of Mochi Gate, Bazar Hakeeman, Paniwala Talab, Rang Mehal, and Bhatti Chowk. All shops on the route will remain closed throughout the day.

In 2010, two suicide bombers struck the Youm-e-Ali (R.A) procession when hundreds of mourners were on their way to conclude at Karbala Gamay Shah in Lahore, leaving dozens of people dead and wounding several others.

This year, the police and intelligence sources say, although they don’t have received any specific terror or threat-alert regarding the possible attack yet the personnel of law enforcing agencies are directed to remain on their toes to thwart any possible attempt to create unrest among the otherwise peaceful and brotherly sects.

A day earlier, the District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal banned pillion riding in connection with Youm-e-Shahadat Hazrat Ali (AS) under Section 144/CrPC. The ban will be enforced within the radius of one-kilometre of Karbala Gamay Shah and the route of the procession. According to intelligence sources, the provincial Home Department and the law enforcing agencies have informed that extraordinary security arrangements are a must so that the miscreants or terrorists should not be given any chance to penetrate among the mourners.

“City government has also imposed ban on pillion riding in the areas located within one kilometre range of the procession route. The police have also set up three-layer security checkpoints to ensure physical search of the participants,” a top government official said.

According to sources in the Punjab government, 10 districts of the province have been declared sensitive on the occasion of “Youm-e-Ali” including Lahore, Chakwal, Faisalabad, Sargodgha, Jhang, DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, and Rahimyar Khan. The law enforcing agencies have strictly been directed to beef up the security and take all possible precautionary measures.

CHIEF MINISTER: Police sources said that on special directives of Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, security in the sensitive districts has been tightened with deployment of additional security forces. The CM has warned the police authorities that negligence in security issue would not be tolerated at all.

According to an official handout, the CM has directed that special security measures should also be adopted at all mosques and Imam Bargahs, alongwith deployment of sufficient number of police personnel, to ward off possibility of any untoward incident. The CM also directed the police and law-enforcing agencies to keep a vigilant eye on suspicious elements as well as completely check the record of persons staying at different hotels, hostels and guest houses. He also directed for maintaining strict search operation during the procession so that suspicious persons could be arrested. He directed that security cordons should be formed at four locations on the routes of processions and jammers should be also used so that miscreants could not achieve their nefarious designs.

The CM directed senior police officers to remain in the field in order to ensure hundred percent implementation of the security plan evolved for the martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali. He directed that no individual should be allowed to join in the processions without thorough checking. He directed that besides deployment of heavy police force, walk-through gates should also be set up for checking.

LAW MINISTER: Provincial Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah held a meeting with a delegation of Shia Ulemas in connection with the martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali (R.A). According to an official handout, Ran Sana told the religious leaders that the District Police Officers (DPOs) and District Coordination Officers (DCOs) would remain on high-alert on security points throughout the province.