Drones In Air, Troops On Ground Keep Vigil For R-Day Parades in Kashmir

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The government forces on Monday intensified aerial surveillance, carried out random search operations and sealed the routes leading to Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium (SKCC) here in this capital city in the run upto the R-Day celebrations being held on Wednesday.

Security has been put on maximum alert in major towns and districts of the Valley amid apprehensions of militant attacks to disrupt the January 26 functions, reports and officials said.

Contingents of police and CRPF personnel in full battle gear have been deployed in this capital city and elsewhere to ensure smooth conduct of R-Day celebrations, officials said.

Stringent security measures have also been put in place near the SKCC, the main venue. At many roads leading to the venue, forces were seen frisking people and asking for their identity cards behind the barricades that have been erected to meet any possible militant attack.

“The route leading towards the venue has been sealed, in an attempt, to maintain a strong security cover for VIPs and VVIPs who will be regularly visiting the stadium until R-day celebrations conclude.” CRPF PRO Abhi Ram Pankaj told Kashmir Observer on Monday.

“Intensified anti-terror measures are being taken for the last few weeks because Kashmir is always a target. This year too, we are alert with security personnel maintaining a strict vigil in north, south and central Kashmir,” he said.

The official further added, “To maintain peace during 26th January celebrations, security forces have also been laying surprise door to door cordon and search operations in various parts of the city to maintain peace and thwart any nefarious designs.”

He further added that “sniffer dogs, anti-sabotage checking, sharp-shooters on high rise buildings, surprise Nakas and CCTV surveillance are being used to maintain vigil in the city.”

“The city is also being monitored with drones and new bunkers and barricades have been placed at various parts of the city to maintain peace and normalcy,” Pankaj said.

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

In Baramulla and Sopore, police and paramilitary forces were seen carrying out searches of all the passenger and private vehicles on the Kupwara-Baramulla and Baramulla-Srinagar highway.

Similar reports have also been received from south Kashmir.

Will Ensure Peaceful Celebrations: IGP

The Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said on Monday that security has been beefed up across Kashmir to ensure peaceful and incident free R-Day celebrations.

"For the past one week, police with help of the army and the CRPF have been carrying out area domination and other drills. We are also carrying out drone surveillance to ensure peaceful celebrations not only in Srinagar but in all district headquarters," Kumar said on Monday.

Security forces have been carrying out random checking of vehicles to prevent movement of subversive elements, the officials said.

The deployment of security forces around vital installations and sensitive areas in the city has been increased, they added.

The main Republic Day programme of Jammu and Kashmir will be held at Jammu where Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha will preside over the official function. In Kashmir, the main function will be held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium.

Meanwhile, a full dress rehearsal of the R-Day parade was held on Monday.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole presided over the dress rehearsal parade at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket stadium here amid tight security arrangements, officials said.

Various contingents of the police and other paramilitary forces took part in the march past, they said.

Raj Bhawan Cancels 'At Home’

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday announced to cancel this year’s 'At Home’ reception at the Raj Bhawan in Jammu on January 26 in view of Covid-19 pandemic, an official spokesperson said.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has urged the people of the Union Territory of J&K to follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and safety protocols issued by the health officials, he said.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

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

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