BADIN                -             The Luari Sharif shrine, an oldest Sufi shrine of Sindh, which remained closed for 37 years following bloody clashes between two rival groups of devotees, was finally opened amid stringent security measures on Saturday.

The shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Mohammad Zaman, better known as Sultanul Aulia, is located in Luari Sharif town, some 15 kilometres from here.

The order to this effect was signed by Auqaf Secretary Munawwar Mahesar, who himself unlocked the main entrance to the shrine.

The shrine of Sultanul Aulia was sealed by the provincial government when two rival groups had clashed with each other for its custodianship 37 years ago.

Sultanul Aulia is one of the most revered religious figures in Sindh.

The clashes had left many disciples dead and wounded. Although the Auqaf department looked after the shrine during the period it remained closed for devotees, it was badly damaged during the 2011 rains and floods in the province.

Due to a tense situation that has always prevailed in Luari Sharif due to the dispute over its custodianship, proper repair and renovation work could not be undertaken despite several attempts made over the last three decades.

No untoward incident took place in or around the shrine at the time of its opening as police personnel stood guard.

The reopening of the shrine was only made possible when the local administration ensured peace and harmony in the town.

The Auqaf department had made its last attempt to reopen the shrine in 2015, but the rival groups came face to face and one person lost his life in an incident of firing. The shrine was again sealed to avoid flare-up in tensions.

It was announced that women would be allowed to enter the shrine from 7am to 11am, while men from 3pm to 7pm daily.