Kashmir Celebrations Amid Massive Security Bandobast


KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Police and paramilitary forces on Saturday carried out surprise checks, rampant frisking and identification parades in most parts of the Kashmir Valley on the eve of I-day celebrations amid apprehensions of militant attacks.

According to reports, Police and CRPF personnel further intensified the security apparatus in Srinagar and other parts of Valley to ensure trouble free August 15 celebrations following a spurt in militant attacks this week.

Forces, reports said conducted surprise checks and identification parades at many parts of the city to keep a close watch on the activities of the suspicious persons. Here in this capital city, scores of mobile bunkers have popped up, where people are being subjected to frisking and identification checks.

Reports said heavy deployments have also been made in uptown Batmaloo, Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk, Qamarwari, Rambagh, Maisuma and other areas to foil any threat of militant attack. Posse of policemen in full battle gear has been deployed around the historic Ganta Ghar, Budshah Chowk, SK Park, Maulana Azad Road, Dalgate and other areas of the city to prevent any untoward incident on I-day.

At Maulana Azad link road, forces conducted daylong searches and subjected the people to frisking and identity checks. Similar reports were received from other parts of this capital city.

According to witnesses, security has also been beefed up across downtown Srinagar. The forces at Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and other places of the downtown were seen frisking the people and subjecting them to identification checks.

“The police also carried out surprise check of the vehicles on all the entry and exit points in this capital city,” they said.

SK Cricket Stadium, the main venue of I-day celebrations, where Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha will unfurl tricolour, has been turned into a fortress by CRPF troops and police with three tier security around it.

Late night reports said that the troops and police sealed off all the roads leading to the venue with barricades and spools of razor wire.

According to the reports, sniffer dogs and sharp shooters have also been pressed into service to thwart any possible militant attack to disrupt the August-15 celebrations. Besides it, the activities around the venue were also closely monitored through the CCTV’s and Drones.

A local news agency quoted Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar as saying that all arrangements are in place to ensure peaceful conduct of August 15 functions.

“We are fully prepared to deal with any challenge. Police and the security forces are maintaining highest level of alertness,” he said.

On Friday, a Pakistani militant was killed and a CRPF man and two civilians were injured during an encounter in Qazigund along the strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway. In Sopore, two civilians and a CRPF personal were also injured in a grenade attack.

Security has also been beefed along the 272-km Srinagar-Jammu highway to foil any possible militant attack. Sensitive stretches along the highway from Pampore to Khanabal have been covered with thick blanket of security, reports said. Alert cops and paramilitaries holding automatic rifles are closely monitoring the movement of people.

Meanwhile, reports of heightened security have also been received from Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir.

In Baramulla and Sopore, police and troops were seen carrying out searches of all the passenger and private vehicles on the Kupwara-Baramulla and Baramulla-Srinagar highway. Similar reports poured in from Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

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