Fort Srinagar: HM Amit Shah Arrives Today

Many bunkers have come up in Srinagar ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Valley: KO Photos, Abid Bhat

25 Additional Paramilitary Companies, Sharp Shooters Deployed; Frisking Intensified

Srinagar: Srinagar resembles a fortress as Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Kashmir today for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370.

The visit comes just two weeks after a series of target killings within Srinagar pushed the security establishment into panic mode.

Authorities have beefed up security presence in the city. “Intelligence inputs suggest that militant outfits could carry out attacks in Srinagar to disrupt Amit Shah’s visit,” a police official told Kashmir Observer.

“Around 25 additional companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed,” the official said. “We have started anti-sabotage checking to thwart any attempt of militants to bring in arms and explosives ahead of the visit.”

Shah is on a three-day visit to the erstwhile state and is scheduled to address a public gathering in Srinagar. Pertinently, Shah chose to visit Srinagar before the party’s bastion Jammu.

As per the official, the route which the HM will be travelling through has been fortified with the deployment of additional paramilitary troops, sharp-shooters positioned atop high rise buildings, and new bunkers and barricades. The route is also being monitored with drones.

On the ground, the measures led to a visible decline in traffic — vehicular as well as pedestrian — in Srinagar. At several checkpoints across the city, the police could be seen seizing two-wheelers.

Several two-wheeler owners were seen gathered outside various police stations across Srinagar, pleading with officials for the release of their vehicles.

The Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar had earlier delinked the campaign from Shah’s visit. “Seizing some bikes and shutting down the internet of some towers is purely related to terror violences,” he had said in a statement.

Meanwhile, paramilitary CRPF forces were also seen stopping public vehicular traffic to facilitate its armed personnel patrolling the city’s commercial hub Lal Chowk on motorbikes.

The extra security measures, officials told Kashmir Observer, would continue till October 25. Meanwhile, security arrangements have also been tightened in Jammu city, where Shah is expected to address a gathering.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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