LAHORE - Braving harsh weather, thousands of devotees kept pouring in on the second day of Urs of Sufi saint at Data Darbar on Thursday.

Punjab Auqaf Minister Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri inaugurated Mehfil-e-Samaa as part of the 974th Urs celebrations of Hazrat Ali Hajveri (RA), known as Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh. Punjab Auqaf Secretary Abdul Jabbar Shaheen and Director General Dr Tahir Raza Bukhari were also present. Special sittings under Sahibzada Pir Ghulam Moeenul Haq, Sajjada Nasheen of Astana Aalia Golra Sharif were also held. More than 500 religious leaders are participating in the sittings. The Punjab government has taken special steps to maintain law and order. Containers have been placed at Bhatti Chowk, Kachehri Chowk, Circular Road and Karbala Gamay Shah Chowk, whereas passages around the shrine have been cordoned off.  Charity camps, free food and milk stalls were also set up for the visiting devotees. The Urs of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh is said to be the biggest event of the province that attracts more than three million devotees from across the country every day of the three-day event.

The Punjab government has allocated Rs8 million for three-day Ur celeberations of  Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh .  Thousands of followers from the country and abroad participated in the 974th Urs of Sufi saint.  Foolproof security arrangements were made on occasion and in this regard 100 close circuit cameras were installed on particular places. As many as 1,700 police officials were deputed besides 12 walkthrough gates and metal detectors were installed for security of devotees. Policewomen were also deputed in the ladies portion of the shrine besides volunteers of different volunteer organizations will also perform duty on the occasion. Seventy-four security guards have also been provided by a private security agency. The Lahore Parking Company has announced providing free round the clock parking for the devotees and visitors at four places near the shrine. These places are, Central Model School, TB Hospital, Minar-e-Pakistan and Mohni road.

International Qirat competition, seerat and naat conferences are being organised.

Scholars, and spiritual leaders  from various from all over the country are being participated in these conferences.  Milk sellers have  brought thousands of litres of milk as a donation and the tradition will continue during three days. Milk will be distributed among the devotees and visitors.