Majid Kapra

Multi-layer security arrangements made in Kashmir ahead of I-Day

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Full Dress Rehearsal: A cultural programme being presented at SK Stadium during a full dress rehearsal ahead of Independence Day. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar: Security has been beefed up in Kashmir ahead of Independence Day as full dress rehearsal was held in Srinagar and various district headquarters on Thursday, officials said.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength at many places in the city and elsewhere in the valley to thwart any attempts by militants to disrupt the celebrations, the officials said.

They said random search of vehicles was being carried out near Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here, the venue of the main function.

Similar precautionary measures with respect to security arrangements have been made in other districts of the valley, the officials said.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha will preside over the Independence Day function on Saturday. This will be first Independence Day function since Jammu and Kashmir became a union territory.

Meanwhile, full dress rehearsal was held at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium and other district headquarters of the valley.

“In connection with the celebrations of Independence Day-2020, a full dress rehearsal was held today at S K Stadium in Srinagar where Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole hoisted the national flag and took salute at the march past,” an official spokesman said.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of full-dress rehearsal at S K Stadium in Srinagar, Kashmir range Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that fool-proof security arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of all I-Day functions across the Valley.

“There is ground surveillance and there will be aerial surveillance. We will thwart all plans of militants aimed at disrupting the I-Day functions,” Kumar said, when asked about the preparations in place for smooth conduct of August 15 officials in Srinagar and elsewhere.

Kumar said all security agencies maintain a close synergy to thwart any probable attack by militants on I-Day.

Regarding presence of militants, IGP said militants’ presence cannot be ruled out at all, but security agencies are well prepared to foil their plans to ensure smooth conduct of I-Day function across Kashmir.

“All the security agencies have been maintaining close synergy to foil any possible attack by militants on I-Day. A foolproof security plan has put in place to ensure the day passes off peacefully. Militants presence is always there but we are prepared to foil their plans for smooth conduct of the function in Kashmir valley,” Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of a full-dress rehearsal at SK Stadium here.

IGP also said the security has been intensified across Kashmir including Srinagar ahead of I-Day celebrations urging people to cooperate with security forces during frisking operations.

“We have intensified frisking across the Valley especially Srinagar. I urge people to cooperate with the security officials during frisking as it is for their safety,” the IGP said.

Meanwhile, commuters travelling on various roads in Srinagar and on highways alleged that they were subjected to “harassment” by the security personnel, who asked them to show identity cards, vehicle papers, and frisked their vehicles, which led to traffic snarls at various important junctions.

Special checkpoints have been set up in Srinagar which is on a high alert and drones too have been pressed into service to keep a close watch on suspects, police said. “Sniffer dogs too are being used in and around the venue, and roads leading to SK Stadium Sonwar stand closed for all types of vehicular traffic,” a police official said.

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