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Security Measures Heightened in J&K Ahead of Republic Day

Anees Zargar |
The police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in key areas of Srinagar to thwart any “acts of sabotage.”
Security Measures Heightened in J&K Ahead of Republic Day

Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir valley have intensified security measures across the region ahead of the Republic Day celebrations on January 26. The police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in key areas of Srinagar to thwart any “acts of sabotage.”

The police and security forces are being backed by aerial surveillance through drones, while agencies are keeping a close eye through CCTVs as part of the heightened measures.

The security network is on a “high-alert” as commuters and locals in Srinagar are being frisked on various checkpoints within the city and on all entry and exit points of the capital to monitor the movement ahead of Republic Day.

The J&K police carried out surprise checks of commuters and vehicles around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk on Monday while full dress rehearsals of the function parades were held at various districts earlier.

According to an official statement, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha will preside over the main function in Jammu while his advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar will take the salute at Srinagar. According to a circular issued by the government, District Development Council (DDC) chairpersons will preside over the main functions in their respective districts.

“Block Development Council chairpersons and Presidents of Municipal bodies shall preside over and take salute in separate January 26 functions to be held at the concerned Sub-Divisional and Municipal headquarters,” an official spokesperson said.

The fresh security measures in the region come days after a lockdown was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir since Friday because of the increase in the cases of COVID-19, during which normal life remained disrupted.

The police, Indian Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been conducting security drills, including area domination, drone surveillance in Srinagar and district headquarters, for the past one week.

An alert has also been sounded on the Indo-Pak International Border (IB) in Jammu division ahead of the Republic Day celebrations by the Border Security Force (BSF), who, in an official statement, said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the present security scenario and intelligence inputs.

“Keeping in view the forthcoming Republic Day and security situation to deal with any nefarious attempt of ANEs (anti-national elements) from across the border, troops of BSF Jammu frontier have been on high alert since last week,” an official said.

The BSF added that it is carrying out extensive Anti-Tunneling drive, Special Patrolling and Depth area domination despite extremely hostile weather conditions while strengthening the border domination and mobilisation of troops in important areas.

An official wishing anonymity said that there is always a security risk when Republic Day or Independence Day nears, and that risk has increased with Srinagar witnessing higher militancy-related incidents since last year.

“We are maintaining a close watch so that the R-Day function is conducted smoothly,” the official said.

The J&K police earlier last week released posters of three most wanted militants in Srinagar, including a resident of the city, while two others hail from South Kashmir. The posters were pasted in various parts of the capital in which a suitable reward was offered against the information about the militants. The militants were identified as Basit Ahmad from Kulgam, Arif Zargar from Pulwama and Momin Mir from Srinagar.

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