Security Jacked Up Across Kashmir Ahead Of Jan 26

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Check-Points At City Gates, Nakas At Crossings, Frisking Back In Vogue

SRINAGAR: Amid Indo-Pak tensions on the LoC and militant warnings of violence, the police and paramilitary forces have been put on the move a week in advance to secure Republic Day functions in the Kashmir Valley.

Intelligence agencies are said to have issued alerts that militant groups could carry out a major strike, particularly in Srinagar, to show their presence ahead of, or on, January 26.

Entry points to Srinagar have been armed with police and paramilitary check-points to monitor ingress, and special squads have been posted across the city to frisk vehicles, passengers and pedestrians.

According to reports, vehicles entering Srinagar at the Zakura, Parimpora, Rambagh and Pantha Chowk crossings were allowed through only after thorough checks and identification.

Registers are being maintained of all vehicles entering the city.

Within Srinagar, police and paramilitary nakas have been placed at points like Rainawari. Khanyar, Dalgate, Barbar Shah, Zainakadal, TRC, Polo View, Batmalu and Qamarwari.

The Bakhshi Stadium, the venue of the main Republic Day function in the Valley, has already been taken over by security agencies for sanitization, getting a daily going-over by trained sniffer-dog squads for explosives.

Additional police and paramilitary squads deployed in the city have been issued strict instructions to carry special identity cards to prevent impersonation and infiltration.

Plainclothes-men have been stationed in busy markets and public places to maintain surveillance, with personnel manning CCTV terminals ordered to function round-the-clock.

Security has been beefed up in outlying towns and district headquarters hosting other Republic Day functions.

All released militants have been asked to report to local police stations at regular intervals, and could be taken into preventive custody as a precautionary measure ahead of the big day. 

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