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Sehwan: Fears of sectarian clash

shahbaz qalandarDADU: The shrine of Sufi saint Qalandar Lal Shahbaz was sealed from 5am to 4pm on Tuesday amid sectarian tension. A heavy contingent of police from Sehwan, Lake Shah Sadar, Amri, Jhangara and Bhan Syedabad was deployed in and around the shrine to avert any unpleasant situation.

SPO of Sehwan Rasool Bux Siyal told journalists that Pir Munawwarul Haq, an irrigation officer and brother of Sindh Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq, had announced that a Majlis would be held in the shrine’s Dhamal Court on Tuesday afternoon.

But, people belonging to a rival sect and office-bearers of the Citizens Alliance opposed the move and the former warned that they would call for a strike in the town if the gathering was held.

The ensuing tension prompted senior police officials, the SPO said, to seal the shrine.

He said that a clash had taken place last year when Pir Munawwarul Haq had organised a similar gathering in the Dhamal Court.

The official said that all vehicles were searched by police at Shahbaz Chowk, the main roundabout in the town, and other areas.

Amid security fears, a large number of people who had come to the shrine from different parts of the country left the town.

Ghulam Mohammad, a Sehwan resident, told Dawn that it was first time in the history of the town that the shrine had been sealed.

The shrine was reopened in the evening amid tight security and devotees were allowed to enter after body search.

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