Security beefed up in Kashmir ahead of Jan 26

Security has been beefed up across Kashmir in the run up to January 26 with the forces keeping a tight vigil in areas of Srinagar and adjoining areas.
The main January 26 function will be held at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium.
According to sources forces are conducting area domination, foot patrolling and vehicle checking at many places in Srinagar. In order to prevent militants from entering Srinagar city, a police officer said: “Areas that border Srinagar always remain under focus.”
On Saturday some militants reportedly escaped a police checkpoint at Awantbhawan near Soura in outskirts on Srinagar following inputs about their movement.
Reports said that militants, who were travelling in a car, fired at the police’s Special Operations Group and managed to escape from the spot.
However, police seized the vehicle in which the militants were travelling and arrested an over ground worker (OGW), who allegedly provided logistic support to militants.
Srinagar police chief, Imtiaz Ismail Parry, said that forces were following requisite drill—patrolling, vehicle checking and area domination in view of 26 January.
“We had information that there was a local militant and an OGW in Awantbhawan,” Parray said.
He said that militants were “under pressure” as forces were not “allowing them any space.”
Sources said that forest areas of Srinagar fringes like Dhara and Harwan were also under tight vigil and army was dominating these areas to check movement of militants. They said Dhara traditionally has been a base for militants and one group was operating from the area but out of them, 3 to 4 militants were killed in 2013.
“Though there are no inputs about militants but it has been a traditional base of militants,” sources said.
A top CRPF officer had earlier told Rising Kashmir that forces were also deployed on Shanker Acharaya and Sulaiman hills to keep a check on militant movement. Sources said that contingent also included sharpshooters.
For smooth Jan 26 main function in Srinagar, there will be multiple layer security in place at the venue—which is under the constant surveillance of forces. Police and CRPF personnel have already been deployed to guard the stadium. The venue for official Jan 26 function was changed to SK cricket stadium for the first time due to ongoing renovation work at Bakhshi stadium.
Earlier, Inspector General of CRPF Srinagar, Ravideep Sahi had said that there was a challenge for forces since the location is new but adequate security measure will be in place for smooth Jan 26 function.
According to sources CCTVs have also been installed in and around the venue while drone cameras will be also used to monitor the function. As a part of security measure, makeshift bunkers have been erected to keep vigil around the venue besides establishing entry and exit points to streamline the visitors.
About any steps being taken to seal the roads, SSP Srinagar said that the front road stretch starting from Ram Munshibagh police station to SK stadium will be sealed for some hours for sanitization drill.

javid@risingkashmir.com