RAWALPINDI: The Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) was observed peacefully and with full zeal and reverence across country on Saturday amid tight security arrangements.
In Rawalpindi, the main mourning procession was brought out from Imambargah Ashiq Hussain, Teli Mohallah. Two processions from Imambargah Hifazat Ali Bohar Bazaar and Imambargah Col Maqbool Hussain joined the main procession at Bohar Bazaar Chowk.
The mourners observed self-flagellation with chains at four places including Bohar Bazaar Chowk, Bara Market, Fawara Chowk and Banni Chowk.
A foolproof security cover was provided to the mourners by Rawalpindi Police and other law enforcement agencies on the occasion. Over 3600 cops were deployed to ensure foolproof security arrangements for the mourners.
In their sermons, the Zakireen threw light on the significance of the supreme sacrifices rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and martyrs of Karbala for the glory of Islam. More than 3600 policemen and personnel of the law enforcement agencies had cordoned off the entire route of the procession since morning. The local Police had installed barricades on the slip streets and roads along the route.
The shops and markets on the route of mourning procession remained closed and the law enforcement agencies allowed the participants to enter in the main area after proper checking.
However, the markets and shops in other areas of the city remained open. Police closed all the roads with barricades leading to Imambargahs.
The district administration and law enforcers had finalized all necessary arrangements on Friday to facilitate the mourners.
Rawalpindi District Police, City Traffic Police (CTP) and Rescue 1122 Rawalpindi and other departments concerned on the directives of the Punjab government utilized all available resources and finalized best possible arrangements for the Chehlum procession.
Regional Police Officer, Rawalpindi, Imran Ahmar, City Police Officer Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari and Deputy Commissioner, Rawalpindi Tahir Farooq visited route of the Chehlum procession and inspected all the arrangements.
On the occasion officers of Rawalpindi District Administration and Police were also present. RPO, CPO and DC also checked security arrangements and control room.
According to City Police Officer (CPO) Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari, the Police had finalized elaborate security arrangements for peaceful passage of Chehlum procession and avoided any untoward incident.
Special security arrangements were finalized for Chehlum in the district as it’s a sensitive area, he said adding, three-layer security cover was provided particularly to the main Chehlum procession with special arrangements ensuring rooftop duty and deployment of Quick Response Force (QRF).
Total 12 Chehlum processions were taken out in Rawalpindi city and other tehsils of the district. The main procession of the Chehlum emerged from Col Imam Hussain Imambargah. No person was allowed to carry weapon in Chehlum procession except designated police officers, he said.
A special 24/7 control room had also been set up, he said adding, strict monitoring of Chehlum procession was conducted as Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras had been installed at routes of the procession.
He said special contingents of commandos and police officials were deployed on trouble points. Additional force of Special Branch Police, Elite Force, Punjab Constabulary, Women Police along with district police was deployed to ensure security on Chehlum.
Special checking of the routes was carried out before start of the procession and bomb disposal squad cleared the route. The mourners were checked with metal detectors and walk through gates were installed at the entry points of the procession.
The route of the main procession of ‘Chehlum’ was sealed completely and streets on the route were barricaded. Vehicles and motorcycles were not allowed to move with the mourning procession.
Over 236 traffic personnel were deployed to ease traffic flow as well as to facilitate the mourners on Chehlum. According to a CTP spokesman, several diversion points were set up in Rawalpindi city to ensure security and facilitate the motorists.
The entry of traffic from Committee Chowk, Iqbal Road was banned as per security plan while a diversion was placed at DAV Road and no vehicle was allowed to move towards Fawara Chowk.
According to a District Administration spokesman, all the departments concerned including Rescue-1122, RWMC, MCR, WASA and other on the directives of DC Rawalpindi finalized best possible arrangements for Chehlum.
He said the district administration and police took all possible steps to make the security foolproof for Chehlum processions.