Security Intensified Across Kashmir Ahead Of R-Day

 Forces personnel frisk pedestrians at the City Centre Lal Chowk on Tuesday. KO Photo, Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The government forces on Tuesday stepped up vigil and carried out random search operations in many parts of the Valley amid a spurt in militant attacks just a week ahead of January 26 celebrations.

According to reports, J&K Police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have beefed up security arrangements in the Valley to thwart any untoward incident and ensure smooth R-day celebrations.

“Intelligence inputs suggest that militant outfits could carry out attacks in Srinagar to disrupt peace and normalcy, as they’ve recently tried to do in Khawaja Bazaar, Saraf Kadal and PCR,” a police officer told Kashmir Observer on Tuesday.

“In wake of the given intelligence input, the security has been beefed up across the Valley especially in Srinagar, as it has once again become a soft target for militants.”

He further added, “For now, special nakas, drones, CCTV mounted on security vehicles and buildings, human intelligence, special weapons and sniffer dogs have been placed to maintain peace in the region especially in the capital city”.

As per the official, the route leading to Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium—where R-Day celebrations are scheduled—will be sealed and fortified with the deployment of paramilitary troops, sharp-shooters positioned atop high rise buildings, new bunkers and barricades. The stadium is also being monitored with drones.

“J&K Police is also planning to install face recognition machinery at several strategic points in Srinagar but the decision about it is still to be finalized by the higher authorities,” the official said.

On the ground, the measures have also led to a visible disruption in the traffic.

Contingents of police and CRPF troopers in full battle gear were deployed today in this capital city and other major towns of the Valley to prevent further militant attacks and to ensure smooth conduct of January 26 celebrations.

At several checkpoints across the city, the police and Central forces were seen stopping and checking vehicles. The checking continued on regular intervals at several places here including Ram Munshi Bagh, Indra Nagar, Dalgate, Barbarshah, Munawar abad, Khanyar, Rajbagh, Shaheed Gunj, TRC, Lal Chowk, Kral Khud and several other areas.

A contingent of Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel of police carried out random frisking of commuters and pedestrians around Lal Chowk, the commercial hub of the city.

“Around this time, there are always inputs from the intelligence agencies about a possible threat from the terrorists and this time also they may try to disrupt the peace in the valley.” PRO, CRPF Abhi Ram Pankaj told Kashmir Observer.

“So, CRPF alongwith J&K Police has beefed up the security, so that any nefarious designs of terrorists may be thwarted. We have started anti-sabotage checking to thwart any attempt of militants to bring in arms and explosives ahead of the Republic Day. We've also set up surprise nakas and checkpoints."

As per the official, there won’t be any additional placement of paramilitary troops and bunkers, as the number of forces currently stationed in the city is enough to maintain the Law & Order situation.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

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

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