Aerial Surveillance, Ground Security Put In Place Across Kashmir

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Two days ahead of the Independence Day, security agencies on Saturday put a three-layer security arrangement in place, with state of the art technical assistance, across Jammu and Kashmir to ensure smooth and incident-free conduct of the August 15 functions.

If sources are to be believed then, besides the multi-layered security, facial recognition system (FRS) cameras will also be installed at several sensitive points near Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar, where Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha will preside over the main function of the 76th Independence Day.

According to officials, the security has been put on maximum alert in major towns and districts of the Valley on Saturday with J&K police, including members from CID and Special Operations Group (SOG) and paramilitary forces ordered to maintain a strict vigil, amid apprehensions of a “new threat” from militants.

Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, the main venue of I-Day celebrations, has been placed under a three-tier security cover for Monday’s main function which will be attended by top officials from civil administration, police and army.

All routes leading to the main venue were reportedly sealed by the heavily armed security personnel from police and CRPF. Anti-drone systems of the security agencies have also been pressed into action around the venue to keep a watch on any suspicious activity and to keep militants at bay.

“A multi-layer security arrangement has been put in place to secure the venue of the main 15 August function at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium,” a police official told Kashmir Observer.

“Three-tier security has been put in place in Srinagar with SOG and CID men in civvies being deployed around the venue and other strategic points of the city to keep a close watch on any suspicious movement. As a precautionary measure, a road from Ram Munshi Bagh PS-Gupkar Chowk to TRC Chowk will be sealed and traffic will be diverted through other routes,” the official said, adding that high resolution cameras have been installed at the Stadium and across Srinagar city to keep a strict vigil on any suspicious movement.

“Its footage is being monitored round the clock,” the official added.

“Police and CRPF personnel have been deployed in strength across the summer capital and vulnerable spots in other major towns of the Valley to thwart any attacks by the militants to disrupt the Independence Day celebrations on Monday,” the official said, adding that security forces have left no stone unturned in maintaining a foolproof security cover for the function and dignitaries.

Since morning, police and paramilitary men were also seen stopping and searching vehicles at several places in Srinagar while many pedestrians were subjected to frisking. SOG men were seen stopping vehicles and people at Batamaloo and then checking them thoroughly.

As per the official, SOG men and CRPF troopers have been placed at all the entry points of Srinagar and the vehicles and passengers entering Srinagar are being thoroughly and carefully checked before being allowed to enter the capital city.

Similarly, pillion riders were also randomly stopped and checked for any suspicious element to ensure that the ensuing official functions on Monday pass off peacefully and incident-free. Apart from frisking people, the men in uniform were also seen checking the identity cards of some people.

The security grid is also relying on modern gadgetry like CCTV cameras and drones to ensure a peaceful Independence Day. Forces have also started anti-sabotage checking to thwart any attempt of militants to bring in arms and explosives ahead of the Independence day.

“BDS [Bomb Disposal Squads] are also put on high alert in case any IED is found,” the police official said.

Special nakas, CCTV mounted on security vehicles and buildings, human intelligence, special weapons, makeshift drop gates and sniffer dogs have also been placed at several points to maintain peace in the region especially in the capital city.

“Besides the ground support, we are also keeping a hawkish eye on the situation through aerial surveillance,” A CRPF official told Kashmir Observer.

He further said that there is checking, frisking, and drone surveillance. “Like every year, this year too, we will ensure an incident-free function,” the official said, while urging people to participate in the August 15 functions.

As per the official, there won’t be any additional deployment 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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