KARACHI: To mark Karbala tradegy, the main 9th Muharram procession in Karachi passed peacefully on Monday amid strict security measures. A Majlis was held at Nishter Park from where the main mourning procession was taken out. After passing through Mehfil-e-Shah Khurasaan, Saddar, Preedy Street, Baba-e-Urdu Road and MA Jinnah Road, the procession culminated at Hussainian Iranian Imambargah in Kharadar with peace.
Over 18,000 policemen and Rangers personnel were deployed to protect main procession and majlis venue. Round-the-clock surveillance was also conducted by over 1,200 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. All the shops in Saddar and along the procession routes were closed. The roads linking procession routes and Majlis venue were also closed. Security personnel were also deployed at the rooftops of buildings to monitor the proceedings of the mourning procession.
Scouts organizations, rescue services, and city administration also made necessary arrangements to facilitate the participants of the mourning procession. The mobile phone service was also suspended from morning to evening to ensure foolproof security in the city.
The Sindh Home Department had under Section 144 CrPC imposed complete ban on pillion riding from 8th to 10th of Muharramul Haram in 10 districts of the province of Sindh; Hyderabad, Sanghar, Khairpur, Sukkur and Karachi.
IG Sindh Ghulam Hyder Jamali along with Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Qadir Thebo and other senior officers visited different areas of the city to review the security arrangements made for mourning processions and congregations on the eve of Youm-e-Ashur.
Health Department Sindh and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) declared emergency in all the public sector hospitals of Karachi and other parts of province and ordered availability of doctors, paramedics and medicines, while Director Health Karachi declared emergency in 18 town health offices of the city till 12th Muharram and also established medical camps in this regard.
The health department has directed all the heads and Medical Superintendents of public hospitals to alert the doctors, paramedical and nursing staff, while ambulance service and blood banks should be kept open round-the-clock. In the lights of these instructions, medical superintendents canceled the leaves of employees. All hospitals administrations were directed to provide best available treatment to the mourners and participations of the mourning processions if and when needed.
The main roads in the city almost depicted a deserted look on Monday on the eve of 9th Muharram and following the holiday announcement by the government and strict security arrangements made in the city including diversion of routes as many roads were closed by placing containers on roads creating easiness for some and difficulty for the others.
People in the city mostly preferred to stay homes as Wagah Border blast further excavated the fear of any untoward situation in the city. Markets were almost closed, mobile services suspended from 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening.
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