Kashmir On Heightened Alert Ahead Of Jan 26

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Forces personnel stop vehicles on the eve of Republic day in Srinagar, Thursday, January 23, 2020. Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR – Security has been beefed up in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir ahead of the R- Day with a massive deployment of forces around the venues of the January 26 functions across the Valley, officials said on Thursday.

It will be the first Republic Day celebrations in the Valley after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was withdrawn on August 5 and the erstwhile state was divided into two Union Territories.

The security has been tightened at various places in the city as well as in other districts of the Valley ahead of January 26 celebrations, the officials said.

They said various security measures have been put in place to ensure that January 26 celebrations pass off peacefully.

The presence of security forces around vital installations in and around the city as well as other district headquarters has been increased, they said.

Security has also been strengthened around the venues for the R- Day functions including the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here, where the main function in the Valley would take place, they added.

The officials said a thick layer of security has been thrown around the venue few kilometres away from the Lal Chowk city centre here and the area has been sanitized.

Security forces have been asked to remain alert and additional checkpoints have been erected and in the city, they said.

Random checking of vehicles and frisking of passengers was being done at these checkpoints at several places, they added.

On Thursday, authorities sealed off the road stretch from Radio Kashmir Crossing to Sonwar Crossing for the first half of the day as rehearsals were taking place at the stadium, the officials said.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh on Wednesday said all arrangements have been put in place so that the day passes off peacefully.

“We have done all the preparations on the ground. Preparations have been done in all the districts of the valley. All security arrangements have been put in place in Srinagar as well. I think all other arrangements have also been done for the January 26 function and this function will take place smoothly,” the DGP had said.

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