KARACHI - The mourning processions taken out here on Friday on 8th of Muharram to remember the sacrifices of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions culminated peacefully at their designated places.

Strict security measures were taken by the security agencies on the day that included ban on pillion riding as well as suspension of mobile phone and internet services to avoid any untoward incident.

A large number of people, including women and children, participated in the main procession, which appeared from Nishtar Park and culminated at Imambargah Husanian Iranian, Kharadar peacefully.

The procession, which began after Majlis-i-Aza, passed through Numaish Chowrangi, MA Jinnah Road where the mourners offered Namaz-e-Zuhrain at Ali Raza Imambargah.

The procession then reached Kharadar after passing through its traditional routes - Sea Breeze, Saddar, Tibet Centre, Eidgah and Bolton Market. All the routes of the procession were sealed by placing containers and barricades.

More than 6,000 police personnel were deployed for the security of the mourners. Three protective circles were made around the procession by scouts, police and Rangers. As the law-enforcement agencies personnel were deployed to protect the main procession and majalis, surveillance was also conducted through closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. All the shops in Saddar and along the procession routes had been closed by placing containers on Thursday night. Sharp shooters were also deployed over 150 rooftops along the routes of the procession, while the bomb disposal teams also swept the area while staying ahead of the procession.

Scouts organisations, rescue services and city administration had also made necessary arrangements to facilitate participants of the procession.

The Sindh Home Department has, under Section 144, imposed complete ban on pillion riding in the city for three days from Muharram 8th to Muharram 10th while Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, on the directives of the federal government, banned mobile phone and internet services in the city on Friday from 9am to 9pm.

Moreover, the Health Department Sindh and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) declared a state of emergency at all public sector hospitals of Karachi and other parts of province and ordered availability of doctors, paramedics and medicines.

Medical Superintendent, Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, Dr Tahir Aziz Sheikh told media men that leaves of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff had already been cancelled ahead.

He said all arrangements had been finalised to cope with any emergency.

He further said that availability of life-saving drugs would be ensured, especially on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

He informed that Orthopaedic Unit-1 and 2 had been vacated to make room for patients in case of any emergency.

He told media that under the contingency plan, patients would be divided into three categories: A (severely injured patients), B (mildly injured) and C (and patients with minor injuries).

He said patients of all three categories will be dealt with as per plan.

Sheikh said security of the hospital was also beefed up in consultation with the law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, managements of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and other hospitals had also cancelled leaves of their doctors and paramedics ahead of Youm-e-Ashur to deal with any emergency.

Meanwhile, traffic police has already intimated the public about alternate routes to be adopted in the wake of blockade of MA Jinnah Road from Numaish Chowrangi to Kharadar and its surrounding routes due to main processions of Muharram.