At least 176,477 police personnel and volunteers will secure mourning processions, while 194,086 police personnel and volunteers will perform security duties at religious gatherings under Muharram security plan finalised by Inspector General Police Punjab (IGP) Faisal Shahkar on Friday.
Additional IGs, DIGs, Special Branch, CTD and PSCA officers were present at the video link conference, while all RPOs, CPOs, DPOs and Additional IG South Punjab also participated through video link.
Approximately 9,292 processions and 37,223 religious gatherings will be held in all the districts of the province during the month of Muharram, according to statistics. IGP Shahkar directed personnel to ensure four-layers of security for sensitive and A-category mourning processions and Majalis across Punjab.
The IGP directed officers to take strict action against violations of Loud Speaker Act and broadcasting and promotion of malicious content.
The IGP reaffirmed that religious unity and harmony must be promoted through the cooperation of scholars and Ulemas from all schools of thought, community leaders, businessmen and civil society. He stressed upon field officers to ensure the active role of peace committees, in collaboration with the district administration.
Special security arrangements were outline for Imambargahs, Ashura processions and religious gatherings in all sensitive cities, including Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
The IGP said CCTV cameras should be installed along the main procession routes for Muharram 9 and Ashura and drones should also be arranged for aerial monitoring. IG Punjab further directed that special attention should be paid to monitoring by PSCA in Lahore. He emphasised upon supervisory officers to review the security arrangements of Muharram by conducting inspections on the ground.
He also directed increased patrolling hours at night and that lady constables and female volunteers should be assisted in security and checks in women's religious gatherings and processions. Meanwhile, DPO Pakpattan delivered a briefing on the security arrangements for the five-day Urs celebrations of Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shukar.
IG Punjab ordered that the activities of banned organizations and persons included in the Fourth Schedule must be closely monitored during Muharram. He also ordered implementation of an effective traffic plan, keeping in view the timings of religious gatherings and mourning processions, so that traffic flow would remain undisrupted, especially on important highways.
IG Punjab additionally ordered the installation of walk-through gates, metal detectors, CCTV monitoring and video recording as part of the security package. He instructed officers to ensure implementation of restrictions on fixed hours of processions and religious gatherings at any cost.
Search, sweep, combing and intelligence-based operations will also be continued in and around the locations of religious gatherings and procession routes. He also deployed plain clothed commandos and snipers on rooftops of buildings on the route of sensitive processions and religious gatherings.