Martyrdom day of Hazrat Ali (RA) will be observed in the city today (Saturday).
Processions will be taken out in all the towns through the three-day annual remembrance of the martyrdom of the fourth caliph of Islam. Religious organizations will arrange a number of meetings, seminars and sittings to mark the day.
The day will start with special prayers and recitation of the Quran in the city’s mosques immediately after Fajr’s prayers. Religious scholars and prayer leaders will deliver special sermons to highlight the teachings and various aspects of the life of Hazrat Ali (RA).
The faithful will arrange Langars (free food) and Iftar dinners. Authorities have boosted security throughout the country for processions by Shia devotees. Starting in the morning, the marches will culminate at prominent Shia imambargahs in the evening.
According to media reports, major Shia procession routes or culmination points include Mubarak Haveli to Karbala Gamey Shah via Circular Road.
Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rao Sardar Ali Khan has ordered the provision of three-tier foolproof security for processions and majalis across the province. In this regard, he issued instructions to supervisory officers while presiding over a meeting with respect to security for Youm-e-Ali. He asked the RPOs and DPOs to personally supervise security arrangements.
The IGP said that police teams should maintain close coordination with Special Branch, CTD and other law-enforcement agencies and there should be prompt action over the display of weapons, violation of the Loudspeaker Act or any attempt to disturb the peace. Rao asked for continuing search, sweep and intelligence-based combing operations in the vicinity of routes and places of sensitive processions and majalis.
The IGP ordered snipers to be deployed on the rooftops of buildings along the procession routes as well as commandos in plain clothes. He ordered CCTV monitoring and video recording of sensitive processions and majalis. Deployment of female police personnel has been ordered to check female mourners.
A Punjab Police spokesperson said that 868 majalis and 234 processions would be held in all districts of the province on Hazrat Ali’s (RA) martyrdom day. More than 33,000 police officers and volunteers would perform security duties.
Talking to Minute Mirror, DIG Operations Abid Khan said over 5,000 Lahore Police personnel would be on security duty. Under the security plan, 10 SPs, 25 SDPOs, 80 SHOs and 374 upper subordinates will be posted on different points. Besides, 208 lay police constables would also perform security duty.
The streets leading to the five-kilometre procession route would be blocked with barbed wire. “Snipers will be deployed on 121 rooftops on the route of the procession,” said Abid Khan, adding that mobile service would be suspended in certain areas.