Bonalu procession and Jagne ki Raat today

A security blanket is being thrown around the Old City in view of the Bonalu procession and Shab-e-Qadr (Jagne ki Raat) scheduled on Monday.

The Bonalu procession starts from Simhavahini Mahankali temple, Lal Darwaza, in the afternoon and culminates at Nayapul in the evening by the time preparations for the Shab-e-Qadr will begin and thousands from both the communities are expected to be on the roads for celebrations.

Political situation

Keeping these two festivities in view, officials have made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that things pass off peacefully. Officials are also jittery due to the volatile political situation.

Interestingly, the ten-day Bonalu festival is coinciding with the Ramzan month after a gap of 33 years.

Bomb squads

Apart from the local police, the services of the Rapid Action Force, City Armed Reserve, Border Security Force and APSP are being taken to maintain law and order. Bomb disposal squads will conduct anti-sabotage checks along the procession route, police officials said.

The police have conducted a series of meetings with hawkers and shop owners who conduct business along procession route and requested them to voluntarily keep their businesses closed on Monday evening and with the merchants agreeing to cooperate, police have heaved a sigh of relief.

Isha prayers

A major challenge for the police is to ensure that the procession culminates before Isha prayers held around 9 p.m.

About 7, 000 devotees are expected to turn up for the special ‘Shab-e-Qadr’ prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid alone.

Not taking any chances the police also conducted meetings with religious and peace committees and sought their cooperation.

Lighting arrangements

As a precautionary measure, alternative lighting arrangements have also been made in case of any power break down even as the civic authorities cleared debris along the procession route.

The police are fully prepared and expect things to pass off peacefully, said city police commissioner, Anurag Sharma, while speaking to presspersons on Sunday.

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