As January 16 is drawing near, the Sher-e-Kashmir (SK) cricket stadium, where the main function of Valley would be held this year, is under the constant surveillance of forces and three-tier security setup would be placed around the area to ensure fool proof security arrangements and thwart militant strikes.
“The forces are already deployed to guard the new venue. The force personnel are maintaining the surveillance for peaceful function on January 26,” IG CRPF, Ravideep Sahi told Rising Kashmir.
The venue for January 26 was changed to SK cricket stadium this year due to ongoing renovation work at the Bakshi stadium.
Sources said most VVIPs invited for the January 26 function reside around SK stadium, making it convenient for them to come and return to their respective places.
“The residences of VVIPs are well guarded and it makes the area reasonably secure,” they said.
Sources said the disadvantage with the SK stadium was that it lacks pre-build entry and exit points like Bakhshi Stadium.
A top CRPF official said that required entry and exit points are being erected at the stadium and all security arrangements would be ensured.
Sources said CRPF men were deployed on January 11 to guard the venue while force personnel have also intensified patrolling and area domination in areas falling around the venue.
IG CRPF said it was a challenge for forces since the location is new.
He, however, said three-tier security would in place for smooth conduct of January 26 function.
“Sufficient forces will be deployed in and around the venue on January 26. There will be a three-tier security for new venue and forces will also dominate the Suleiman and Shankar Achariya hills,” Sahi said.
In three-tier security ring, the inner (venue security) component woud comprise mostly police and have a component of CRPF, the second and third security ring would be looked after jointly by police and CRPF men.
Sources said many CCTVs have been installed in and around the venue while more cameras would be installed to monitor the situation in the area on January 26.
They said CCTV-fitted vehicle connected to police control room, would remain stationed at the main entry gate of the stadium from tomorrow onwards.
A security official said extra security measures are being taken in view of militant threat.
The forces recently diffused two IEDs in HMT and Maloora area in outskirt of Srinagar while earlier this month, four policemen were killed in IED went blast in Sopore market.
Since the government was functioning from Jammu, there was no word yet on who would take salute on January 26 function in Srinagar.
Last year, Governor N N Vohra had taken salute in Jammu and while Divisional Commissioner Kashmir had unfurled tricolour at Bakshi Stadium, Srinagar.
An official said a meeting of security officers is likely to take place on Saturday to review the security arrangements for January 26 function. The meeting would be chaired by DGP S P Vaid.