LAHORE - Security yesterday was beefed up for Youm-e-Ali (R.A.) in the provincial metropolis with massive deployment of police force on the route of the main procession.

A police spokesperson said at least 5000 policemen including elite commandoes and plainclothesmen would be deployed in the walled city to protect mourners.

Lahore DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf yesterday told reporters that aerial surveillance of the main procession would also be ensured. The officer visited the route of the central procession and expressed his satisfaction over the security arrangements.

The central procession of Youm-e-Ali (RA) will be taken out from Imambargah Mubarak Haveli, inside Akbari Mandi, on 21st of Ramazan on Monday (today). Earlier, a Majlis-e-Aza in connection with Shahadat Hazrat Ali (RA) will be held and speakers will highlight various aspects of the life of Hazrat Ali (RA).

While unveiling security plan, police officer Haider Ashraf said that the police would thoroughly search each participant before allowing him entry towards the main venue. Dozens of policewomen will also be deployed to check female participants. The police will ensure three-layer security.

The police would block all roads leading towards the main procession by putting containers and barriers. Similarly, police response units, and Dolphins Squads would patrol around the route of the central procession to protect the mourners.

The central operations room has been activated at the office of DIG (Operations) to monitor the security situation round the clock. The police will monitor the procession by using hundreds of CCTV cameras installed on the route of the central procession. According to an official, parking arrangements have been made at Nasser Bagh for participants of the procession.

Police last night stepped up security deployment and snap-checking at the entry and exit points of the city. A good number of snippers or sharp-shooters would also be deployed on top of the high-rise buildings alongside the procession route to check the movement of suspected elements.

The central procession will reach Kashmiri Bazaar at the time of Zuhr prayers after passing through its traditional route, Chowk Nawab Sahib, Lal Khoo, Mughal Haveli, Mohalla Shi’an, Nisar Haveli, Chhota Mufti Baqar and Chowk Masjid Wazir Khan. The procession will conclude at Karbla Gamey Shah in the evening after passing through its route of Paniwala Talab, Shahi Mohalla, Bazaar Hakeeman and Ounchi Masjid inside Bhaati Gate.