Security being tightened ahead of Ajmer Urs

Jaipur, May 2 : After the death of Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistan jail, security is being tightened in and around Ajmer, where a delegation of over 640 pilgrims from Pakistan is expected to arrive May 12 for the 801st Urs of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti.

Various organisations Thursday staged protests and threatened to show black flags to the Pakistani delegation here.

A source in the city police force told IANS Thursday that seeing the anger brewing among people here, the district administration has asked the government to sanction additional forces for the security of the Pakistani delegation.

The delegation is likely to stay here for a week.

The state intelligence bureau has also stepped up vigil in the city.

"We have demanded additional forces and have also stepped up vigil in the city," the source in the police department said.

Meanwhile, the spiritual head of the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti, Diwan Sayed Zainual Adebdin Ali Khan, condemned the brutal attack that led to the death of Sarabjit Singh in a Lahore hospital, and said such an attack went against the tenets of Islam.

He accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of involvement in the death of Sarabjit, and asked the Indian government to take the matter seriously.

"It is a plan of Pakistan to disturb the communal harmony in the country and the matter should be raised at the international level too," Zainual said.

"It should also be raised at the nternational human rights commission," he said.

Earlier in March, the spiritual head of the 13th century shrine had boycotted the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to the Dargah, protesting the killing of Indian soldiers at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops.

The Shiv Sena Thursday staged a protest at the Ajmer district headquarters, demanding withdrawal of visas to the Pakistani group coming to Ajmer.

The Yuva Jat Mahasabha threatened to show black flags to Pakistani citizens when they reach Ajmer.

The Urs is the annual event commemorating the death anniversary of Sufi Saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at the Dargah (shrine built over the grave). The Urs features night-long singing of qawwalis, and is held over 15 days.

This time, the Urs will be held May 7 to May 22.

About five lakh devotees from different parts of the world participate in this event. This year, it is estimated that over seven lakh people will visit the city for the Urs.

--IANS (Posted on 02-05-2013)

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