MULTAN/ HAFIZABAD / MUZAFFARGARH - The martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali (RA) was marked with solemnity here on Friday. Besides main processions of Youm-e-Shahadat-e-Hazrat Ali (RA), a number of other small processions were held in different areas of south Punjab. The faithful also attended Majlis at different imambargahs held in connection with the martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA).

Strict security arrangements were made on the occasion to avert any untoward incident as pillion riding was banned in the city while section 144 was enforced. Cops were deployed on the routes of the processions while streetlights were also installed to illuminate the route of processions.

The main procession emerged from Imambargah Jhik and ended at Imambargah Lal Shah after marching through its traditional route. Similarly, another major procession was brought out by the faithful from Imambargah Kashana Haider Chah Bohar Wala and it ended at Imambargah Kashana Shabbir Lal Kurti. The participants of the processions paid homage to Zuljinnah and flagellated themselves with sharp knives mounted on chains.

About 20 to 25 feet long security zones were established with iron barriers ahead of each imam bargah to restrict entry of irrelevant and anti social elements. Only checking and security staff were allowed to enter the security zone created through barriers. The faithful were frisked with metal detectors at the entry of security zone.

Similarly, all link roads, streets and residential areas around the route of processions were sealed by police. The participants of the processions created security circle with the help of ropes around the processions to restrict the penetration of strangers.

The special branch and bomb disposal personnel swept the routes and destinations of majlis and processions with the help of metal detectors. The participants of the martyrdom day activities were asked park their motorbikes and other vehicles away from imambargahs.

The day ended with peace as the masses exhibited inter-sect harmony. 

In MUZAFFARGARH: Different organization expressed dissatisfaction over the security arrangements for Yom-e-Ali (RA) procession taken out on the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Ali (RA) on 21st Ramazan. The CCTV cameras were not installed on the route nor were roads repaired although the DCO had declared the city as sensitive.

On the other hand, police personnel were deployed on the route of Youm-e-Ali (RA) procession and all streets and roads linked to the route of the procession were completely sealed off.

Meanwhile, all commercial markets in the way of procession were sealed after a thorough scrutiny. The main procession of Alam and Zuljinnah was taken out from Imambargah Mojarain which ended at Committee Chowk after passing through old route. Similarly a number of processions appeared from Imambargahs in Alipur, Jatoi, Shahjamal and Kot Addu. All the participants were bound to pass through the security gates.

A Command and Control Room was also set up in the office of DPO for the monitoring of the security arrangements.

In HAFIZABAD, Youm-e-Ali (RA) was observed in the city with religious reverence, amid tight security. A Zuljinnah procession was taken out from the house of Syed Chan Shah and the mourners paraded the main roads, beating their chests, reciting Ya Ali Ya Ali and terminated at Chowk Fawara where Zakreen urged their audience to follow in the footsteps of the great Imam.

Meanwhile, the Ulema during Friday congregations paid rich tributes to the great Imam for his courage and boldness.

In view of tension between two sects in Chiniot, local administration has banned the entry of Maulana Alam Tariq and Malik Muhammad Ishaq of defunct religious party in Hafizabad for two months. They were scheduled to visit Hafizabad on Friday.