LAHORE - Ashura was observed peacefully across Punjab on late on Tuesday. Millions of mourners participated in processions taken out on 9th and 10th of Muharram to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).

Charity food camps were set up along routes of mourning processions while volunteers and emergency service staff were escorting the mourners. Religious scholars shed light on the Karbala tragedy.

Authorities stepped up security for the event

Official estimates show 9,107 mourning processions and 36,138 sittings were held during the first 10 days of Muharram. Police were put on high alert. A spokesman for the Edhi Foundation told reporters dozens of mourners were shifted to hospital with injuries. The Edhi foundation deployed over a good number of ambulances and volunteers. Special Sabeels of milk and water were also arranged for the mourners on the route of the processions. The participants were also served free food items and juices.

According to a police official, at least 5,500 Majalis and 650 processions were held only in Lahore during the first 10 days of the holy month. Also, the safe city authority used hundreds of CCTV cameras and drones to monitor processions in addition to aerial surveillance with the help of helicopters.

Mobile phones and internet services were partially suspended in nine districts of the province, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Jhang, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Jhelum. Pillion riding was also banned in Lahore during Ashura and police arrested dozens of violators in the clampdown.

CM Usman Buzdar greeted police and other law enforcers on maintain peace for Ashura. “Situation remained under control. Peace committees and local leaders played vital role in maintaining peace,” he said.

Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz Khan appreciated his team for maintain law and order on Ahura, a handout said on Wednesday. “CCPO, RPOs, CPOs and DPOs and other team member braved terror threats and harsh weather to maintain law and order so that people commemorate  The martyrdom Hazrat Imam Hussain and his companions,” he said in a wireless message on Wednesday.

He counted feats of his fleet, saying: “The Punjab Police guarded 9,107 processions and 36,138 sitting to prove their mettle despite limited resources and difficult circumstance. He said: “I offer my congratulations to all police force including district police, Elite Force, Punjab Highway Patrol, Dolphin, PRU, Wireless Staff, Traffic Wardens   control room staff, volunteers and ministerial staff for their contribution to make the event peaceful. They deserve praise. I am also grateful to notables, scholars and clerics for their part in maintaining peace.”

The IGP expressed hope that the lawmen would continue with such an outstanding performance.  The police chief also paid a visit to the central control room and oversaw the steps taken by the cops to meet security needs. AIG Operations Imran Kishwar briefed IGP about Muharram security measures.