LAHORE – The three-day celebrations of the 974th annual Urs of sufi saint Hazrat Ali bin Usman Sheikh Ali Hajveri, popular as Data Ganj Bakhsh started in the Punjab capital amid tight security on Wednesday.

Punjab government says it is providing best possible facilitates to the devotees whereas City district administration has put in place all arrangements for security of devotees who have reached here from all over the country to attend the Urs.

Every year, the devotional activities start with recitation from the Holy Quran, Na’at, and Qawwali.

Around 2500 policemen will perform security duty during these three days.

Contingents of other law enforcement agencies will function as backup force and teams of rescue 1122 and bomb disposal squad will also be available on demand.

Containers have been placed at Bhaati Chowk, Kacheri Chowk, Circular Road, Karbala Gamay Shah Chow and passageways surrounding the mausoleum have been closed through barbed wires.

Surveillance through CCTV cameras would also bolster the security arrangements to avoid any mishap during the celebrations.

The Data Ganj Bakhsh, Ali Bin Usman Sheikh Ali Hajveri was a prominent saint of subcontinent who influenced thousands of people to embrace Islam during his life. His shrine still stands tall in the provincial capital and people from around the world visit the place sporadically to quench the thirst for spiritual knowledge.