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Security strengthened around G20 meet venue in Srinagar

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Srinagar: Security has been strengthened around the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) here ahead of the G20 working group meeting on tourism next week, officials said on Friday.

NSG and marine commandos have been deployed in addition to police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces personnel to ensure the high-profile event passes off smoothly, they said.

On Thursday, the marine commandos or MARCOS carried out a sanitisation exercise in the Dal Lake near the venue.

The elite commandos searched various houseboats and went around the water-body in ‘shikaras’. The exercise was part of the security drill ahead of the G20 event.

Kashmir will host the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting from May 22 to 24.

A similar drill was carried out by National Security Guard commandos in the Lal Chowk area of the city here.

The NSG commandos, accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir Police and CRPF personnel, carried out an area domination and sanitisation exercise. They checked hotels at Lal Chowk.

The officials said the drills were part of a security plan to make sure the event passes off without any untoward incident.

They said security has been beefed up across Kashmir Valley, especially in the city here.

Security forces have been deployed in strength in the city for area domination and sanitisation exercises.

Vehicles passing through the city are being randomly checked to ensure that no subversive elements manage to enter the city, the officials said.

The officials said a three-layer security will be put in place for the event.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police has put up anti-drone mechanisms in place, they said.

The officials said the city has been made a no-drone zone till the event is over.

They said the administration is pulling out all stops to put on a grand show for the delegates arriving in the city for the key meeting, they added.

The routes expected to be taken by the foreign delegates have been given a makeover ahead of the meet.

Several projects, which were part of Srinagar Smart City, were taken up on priority and the city has been decked up for the international event.

Meanwhile, the police in Kashmir issued a public advisory against suspicious international mobile numbers allegedly being used to spread rumours about the G20 meeting in the Valley.

Many mobile phone users in the valley have received recorded messages from such numbers asking them to boycott the event.

The police said such numbers were spreading anti-national messages/propaganda and the general public is requested to remain alert of such attempts and not to respond to any suspicious calls.

The police’s cyber cell has also taken cognisance of the matter and investigations are underway. (With inputs from PTI)

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