KHAIRPUR: Security has been enhanced at the shrine of Sindh’s sufi poet Hazrat Sachal Sarmat following the orders of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah after Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine blast last week. Soon after the suicide blast at Sehwan Sharif in which over 90 people including women and children were killed, last Thursday, a walk-through metal detector gate was installed at the entrance of Sachal Sarmat.
A security official deployed at the shrine said, “Following the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar suicide attack, DIG Sukkur ordered installation of security gate. The orders were implemented immediately.” The second metal detector gate was installed four days later.
The number of security guards to perform duty has also been increased. At present two special branch officials and two police personnel are deployed for the security round-the-clock. The shrine of Sachal Sarmat had two main gates for entrance. One has been shut for general public following recent wave of terror across the country, said the second security personnel. A security check-post is also being made outside the gate, closed for general public.
According to sources, Gaddi Nasheen (descendant of the saint and custodian of the shrine), has also placed his personal guards in plain clothes at the shrine to keep vigil eye at the miscreants. Large number of devotees visit the shrine of Sachal Sarmat every day, however, it increased threefold on Thursday. Pointing out security flaws, a local resident identifying himself as only Qasim said, “Although installation of security gates was a good step by the authorities concerned, the outer wall from the graveyard side is also a security risk. The wall is very small and even a child can scale it,” Qasim said. He demanded fencing of the walls. A devotee at the shrine said despite a huge loss of lives at Sehwan, we don’t see any CCTV cameras at the shrine.
Sachal Sarmast (1739–1827) was a Sufi poet during the Kalhoro/Talpur era of Sindh. He wrote poetry in 7 languages, most prominently in Sindhi. He was born in Daraza, near Ranipur, Sindh. His real name was Abdul Wahab Farouqi; he was also nicknamed “Sachal” or “Sachoo”. He used this pen-name in his poetry: Sachu means ‘truthful’ – while in Sindhi Sarmast means ‘ecstatic’ in Sindhi and Urdu alike.
Sachal Sarmast literally means ‘truthful mystic’ or can be translated as “Ecstatic Saint of Truth”. Sachal’s poetical works are sung by local singers in Sindhi and Saraiki; his shrine is in the village Daraza, near Ranipur, Khairpur District, Sindh, Pakistan.