Security Beefed Up In Srinagar After Fresh Militant Strikes

KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Badar Bashir

Srinagar: The government forces on Saturday stepped up vigil around vital installations and conducted random frisking in parts of this capital city in wake of spurt in militant attacks this week that left two policemen dead and a civilian injured.

Wearing bullet proof vests and helmets and carrying assault rifles, CRPF personnel and cops carried out random frisking and identification checks at several places in the city, a day after two policemen were shot dead by militants in Baghat Barzulla area of the city on the Srinagar International airport road, witnesses told Kashmir Observer.

The forces, they said, had also erected checkpoints and installed mobile bullet proof bunkers to carry out frisking of commuters and pedestrians.

At TRC crossing, the joint team of police and CRPF were seen checking the vehicles, including public and private and seeking identity cards of the occupants. Similar scenes were also witnessed around Lal Chowk considered to be the commercial hub of the city.

“Police had also blocked the road near Regal Chowk with an armoured vehicle to restrict the movement of traffic. There was unprecedented security around Lal Chowk and its adjoining localities,” Javed Ahmad Wani, a resident of Rambagh told Kashmir Observer.

He said he was stopped by CRPF personnel near Ghanta Ghar and let off only after frisking and identity check.

Meanwhile, CRPF spokesperson O P Tiwari told Kashmir Observer that his men are carrying out regular drills with the help of police in the city.

“The security drills have been increased after yesterday’s militant attack. It’s just a precautionary measure,” he added.

The killing of two policemen came less than 48 hours after militants shot at and injured 22-year-old Akash Mehra, son of a prominent eatery owner in high security zone Sonwar area on Wednesday evening.

The attack on Mehra came at a time when a group of foreign envoys toured parts of Srinagar and Budgam districts on their first day of two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to take a first-hand account of the situation in newly-carved union territory.

The attack also took place barely a kilometre from the residences of senior mainstream party leaders and protected persons, including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah. Army’s Badami Bagh cantonment is also in the vicinity of Sonwar where the attack was carried out.

IGP Calls For Strengthening Security Grid

Meanwhile Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Saturday called for enhancing surveillance of all vital establishments and strengthening the security grid to thwart attempts of anti-national elements to disturb peace in the city.

Kumar was speaking while chairing a detailed security review meeting at police control room, Kashmir, after militants struck twice this week in the heart of the city, targeting civilians and security personnel.

The meeting was attended by IG CRPF, Srinagar Ops Sector, Charu Sinha; DIG, Central Kashmir Range, Amit Kumar; DIG, CRPF North Srinagar; DIG CRPF South Srinagar; DIG SSB, all zonal SSPs of district Srinagar and all Srinagar-based Commandants of CRPF and SSB, a police spokesman said.

He said the focus of the meeting was recent attacks by militants in the city and the security measures to be taken to counter such attacks in future.

The participating officers presented an overview of the steps initiated by them in their respective areas to thwart such attacks and other challenges faced at the ground level, the spokesman said.

The IGP Kashmir was also briefed about the detailed security measures put in place for the maintenance of peace and security, especially for tourists who are expected to visit the Valley in large numbers in the coming summer season, he added.

Kumar asked the officers to enhance security surveillance of all vital establishments and locations, besides taking care of vulnerable persons to thwart the nefarious designs of militants in the city.

He also urged them to strengthen the general security grid and to ensure better synergy and coordination among themselves and other sister agencies working at the ground level so that militants and anti-national elements do not get any chance to disturb the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the city.

The IGP asked the officers to establish round-the-clock checkpoints at strategic locations as well as surprise (flash) nakas, conduct surprise limited cordon and search operations in crowded places and place cut-off points on exit routes immediately after such attacks.

Kumar also directed for domination by security forces from high reaches and use of drones to check the movement of elements inimical to peace.

The zonal SSPs were directed to keep a close watch on anti-national and anti-social elements, and to take stringent action against such persons and trouble makers and rumour mongers, the spokesman said.

He said the IGP emphasised upon them to be more vigilant and proactive on the ground to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the city.

The officers were instructed to enhance surveillance and conduct anti-militancy operations in their respective areas and take all proactive steps for maintaining peace and stability in the city, the spokesman said.

The IGP asked the officers to keep strict surveillance over militant associates and take all necessary measures under the law against them, he said.

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