LAHORE: Youm-e-Ali, the day of martyrdom of Hazrat Ali (RA), was observed on Saturday with the usual conviction from the Shia community and concluded without incident, in no small part thanks to tight security arrangements.
Majalis, conferences and Tazia processions were held in various parts of the city and religious scholars highlighted the achievements and personality traits of Hazrat Ali. They shed light on the sacrifices rendered by him and his family.
The main Tazia procession, attended by thousands, started early in the morning from Mubarak Haveli inside the Mochi Gate and culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah in the evening after passing through its traditional route of Mochi Gate, Lal Khoo, Fazal Haveli, Takia Nathay Shah, Koocha Shian, Chowk Nawab Sahib, Chohatta Mufti Baqar, Purani Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazaar, Dabbi Bazaar, Sunehri Masjid, Paniwala Talab, Chowk Nogaza, Chowk Tarannum Cinema, Chowk Tibbi, Bazaar Hakeeman, Chowk Novelty, Mohalla Jogian, Unchi Masjid and Bhati Gate to finally reach Karbala Gamay Shah.
Besides this main procession, around 400 small mourning processions were taken out from various neighbourhoods of the city and they too concluded peacefully by the evening.
The day’s events started with a recitation from the Holy Quran, followed by nohas and marsiyas and other religious rituals. These processions were attended by thousands of mourners and many were hitting themselves with chains and knives (zanjir zani). Others were thumping their chests, while chanting “Ya Ali, (RA), Ya Hussain (RA)”.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Syed Javed Ali said the procession and these rituals were to pay homage to the martyred caliph. He recited a noha to highlight the life and sacrifices of Hazrat Ali who was assassinated while offering Fajr prayers on Ramazan 21.
Law enforcing agencies had taken tight security measures as there were serious threats of terrorist attacks. Teams of paramedics also accompanied the procession and provided first aid to mourners who were gravely injured.
At least 7,000 police officials, 12 SPs, 34 DSPs and 80 SHOs performed security duties on the occasion. CCPO Amin Wains and DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf personally monitored and reviewed security arrangements by moving along the main procession route. All the paths, including the main procession route starting from Nisar Haveli, were thoroughly screened by sniffer dogs, the Bomb Disposal Squad and experts of the Special Branch.
The route was also monitored through a control room at the DIG Operations Office and Punjab Safe City Authority via CCTV cameras.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2017.
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