Islamabad - The Ashura processions taken out from different localities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi culminated peacefully after passing through their traditional routes.

The faithful took out Alam, Zuljanah and Taazia processions, besides organising Majalis for paying tribute to the great sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his 72 companions.

According to Additional Deputy Commissioner General Abdul Sattar Isan, strict security arrangements were made for various processions in the areas of Sector I-10, Sabzi Mandi, Aabpara, F-11, Shalimar, Golra (Shah Allah Dita), Tarnol, Jhangi Syedan, Aabpara, Sihala and Secretariat.

He said special security plan was chalked out for various religious gatherings and duties were assigned to policemen after dividing routes into various beats. He said each beat was supervised by an officer of ASP or inspector rank and strong coordination was maintained in this regard.

A police spokesman told this agency that Islamabad police including Rangers and personnel of other law enforcement agencies performed patrolling and security duties and all processions were completely cordoned off. Metal detectors were used for checking participants of majalis and processions, while high vigilance was maintained by the police officials who helped in peaceful holding of all events in connection with Muharram-ul-Haram.

He said ADC-G Abdul Sattar Isani, Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police (Operations) Sajid Kiani, all SPs, SDPOs, SHOs and other police officials visited the routes of processions and ensured effective coordination among the security personnel performing duties. In Rawalpindi, the main mourning procession was taken out from Imambargah Colonel Maqbool Hussain which terminated at Imambargah Qadeemi. Majalis-e-Sham-e-Ghariban were also held at evening to pay homage to the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Husain (RA) and his companions in Karbala for the sublimity and glory of Islam.

Meanwhile, elaborate security measures were taken by the government deploying thousands of military, paramilitary and police force to avoid any untoward incident.

Authorities on Saturday suspended cellular phone services in the twin cities as part of security measures for Muharram processions and Majalis. The mobile phone services restored after Sunday evening.

In Rawalpindi over 6,000 policemen in uniform and plain clothes and personnel of Quick Respond Force were deployed to protect the main procession backed by surveillance with 450 CCTV cameras. Air surveillance was also carried out through helicopters.

Similarly, 10 companies of Pakistan Rangers were also deployed to keep the city peaceful whereas 16 companies of Pakistan Army remained on standby position to tackle any situation.

Some 1,766 Majalis were organised in different localities of Rawalpindi while 316 big and small processions were taken out from different parts of the city that merged with the main procession of the 10th Muharram.