LAHORE: The martyrdom anniversary of fourth Khalifah Hazrat Ali (RA) was observed on Monday with traditional religious solemnity amidst tight security measures. Devotees held majalis, conferences and took out Tazia Alam processions to highlight his personality and achievements.
In Lahore, the traditional Tazia Alam procession was taken out from Mubarak Haveli inside Mochi Gate early morning and culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah in the evening shortly before Iftar time after passing through its traditional route.
The procession route included Imambargah Ghulam Ali Shah, Chowk Nawab Sahab, Mochi Gate, Lal Khoo, Fazal Haveli, Takia Nathay Shah, Koocha Shian, Chuhatta Mufti Baqar, Old Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazaar, Dabbi Bazaar, Sunehri Masjid, Paniwala Talab, Chowk Nogaza, Chowk Tarannum Cinema, Chowk Tibbi, Bazaar Hakeeman, Chowk Novelty, Mohalla Jogian, Oonchi Masjid and Bhaati Gate.
The procession began with the recitation of Holy Quran followed by Nohas and the description of the invaluable services rendered by Hazrat Ali (RA) for the cause of Islam, and an account of the events which led to his martyrdom. The procession was led by Zakerin while different groups of mourners and Noha Khwans conducted self-flagellation.
Volunteers and doctors with ambulances were accompanying the procession to provide first aid to the mourners on the spot and shift to hospitals those needed further treatment. The participants had Iftar at Karbala Gamay Shah after the culmination of the procession.
In view of the prevailing law and order, especially after the blast outside Data Darbar, the district government had taken strict security measures for the procession, deploying over 4,000 police personnel and large number of reserved police personnel on the route and other sensitive places. Pillion riding on motorbikes was banned while mobile phone service was suspended in specific areas. All major roads leading to the procession route were closed to the traffic.
Besides, the policemen had taken positions at the rooftops of the buildings along the route and nobody was allowed to stand and watch from the rooftops and balconies. Special control rooms were established at different points monitor the situation, both manually and through CCTV cameras installed at sensitive points for the purpose. Scanners were erected at the entry points of the procession route while participants were subjected to scanning by metal detectors before they were allowed to join the procession. MWM secretary general Raja Nasir Abbas Jafri addressed the procession at Karbala Gamay Shah.
As special security measures this year, the district administration deputed a second layer of security along the outskirts of the walled city comprising of police mobile squad which kept close eye on the activities on main roads adjacent to the procession route. However, the devotees lamented that district government had not cleaned waste bins along the route which could have been misused by the terrorists to install explosive devices.
Meanwhile, speakers in different seminars and conferences held at various imambargahs, including Jamia Al-Muntazir Model Town, Imambargah Mubarak Begum, Bhaati Gate, Krishan Nagar and Lytton Road paid tributes to Hazrat Ali (RA).
Our correspondent adds: Inspector General Police Punjab Captain ® Arif Nawaz Khan paid a sudden visit to Karbala Gamay Shah, reviewed route of central processions and security arrangements on Youm-e-Ali (RA).
The IG paid a sudden visit to Karbala Gamay Shah to review security arrangements of central processions on the eve of Youm-e- Shahadat-e-Hazrat Ali (RA). On this occasion, DIG Operations Lahore Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, CTO Lahore Captain ® Liaqat Ali Malik and SSP Investigation Zeeshan Asghar while briefing the IG about security arrangements taken for protection of citizens and traffic management, told that all available resources were utilised for security of central processions and three-layered security as per defined in SOP was provided to processions.
The IG directed the officers deputed over there for security that no one should leave duty point until the procession concludes. He directed that all the citizens should be allowed to join procession after checking through metal detectors and walk-through gates.
The IG inquired the officials deputed over there about their duties and directed them that they should remain more active and alert keeping in view the current circumstances and also ensure safety of their own lives besides protecting lives and properties of the citizens and implement the directions already issued in this regard.
Talking to media personnel the IG Punjab said that all forces, including Punjab Police, Traffic Police, Elite Force, Punjab Constabulary and others were doing their official duties and monitoring of the participants of the processions was ensured through CCTV cameras.