LAHORE - Thousands of police heaved a sigh of relief as Ashura passes peacefully with no untoward happening reported across the Punjab province.

Police had mounted one of the biggest security operations in Lahore where more than 15,000 cops were put on their toes to maintain peace and harmony in the holy month. The department had cancelled all kinds of cops’ leaves because of crucial security operations.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Amin Wains yesterday lauded the efforts of all policemen for performing security duties with dedication despite threats.

“For the last 10 days, Lahore police were on high-alert. It (Ashura security) was really a great challenge and we successfully ensured foolproof security for the mourners,” the police chief said.

During a brief chat with The Nation, the CCPO said there was not any untoward incident during the first 10 days of Muharram in the metropolis since the police implemented a comprehensive security strategy. “First we should have to thankful to the Lahore police. And then the Constables and field officers who are an asset of this department,” he said.

Accompanied by DIG (Operations) Haider Ashraf, Additional-IGP Amin Wains visited police headquarters on Saturday night and met with constables and field officers. On this occasion, the Lahore police chief praised the policemen for ensuring best security arrangements. He hoped that the Lahore police would not leave any stone unturned to maintain law and order during the Local Bodies’ elections, scheduled by the end of this week.

Earlier, Lahore police held flag-marches to improve a sense of security among citizens. Patrolling police chief, SP Syed Karrar Hussain led the flag march in which 200 elite police commandoes on 20 vehicle and 50 motorbikes participated.

Thousands of policemen and hundreds of paramilitary troops were on patrol on leading roads in the provincial metropolis to protect Shia community.

As part of security measures, pillion-riding was banned in Lahore while mobile phone service was also suspended in many big cities of the Punjab province. Drones were also used for vigilance while senior officers were monitoring the security situation on helicopters along the routes of the main procession.

There was four-layer security on the route of the main procession. The policemen carried out snap-checking and physical search of every person at four different points before allowing anyone to join the main procession.

Hundreds of CCTV cameras were installed on the routes of the main procession and a good number of plainclothesmen were deployed among the mourners to deeply monitor the security situation.

Many parts of the provincial metropolis were virtually sealed off with massive police deployment. Armed patrolling was intensified yesterday in the Walled City where many military troops were also put on high-alert to deal with any untoward happening.

Apart from police commandoes, hundreds of policewomen also took part in security operations. Over 100 sharp-shooters were deployed on high-rise buildings.

A central control room had been activated at the office of Lahore DIG (Operations) from where top cops were monitoring security situation minute-by-minute.