Heavy security in Kashmir ahead of I-Day

August 13th, 2011 - 4:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 13 (IANS) Security agencies here have employed both modern gadgetry and manpower to secure the main venue of the Independence Day parade and maintain overall security in the Kashmir Valley, officials said Saturday.

“There is a three-tier security arrangement in and around the Bakshi Stadium. Sniffer dogs, closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs), high-tech access control equipment and human surveillance are in place to secure the official functions connected with Independence Day,” a senior police officer told IANS.

The officer also said teams of intelligence sleuths in plainclothes have been spread in the city and other sensitive towns of the Valley.

“We have used modern technology combined with human intelligence to manage security on ground,” the officer said.

All high-rise buildings around Bakshi Stadium have been occupied by sharp shooters of the security forces to ensure that these vantage points are not used by the guerrillas to shoot Rifle Propelled Grenades (RPGs) at the parade venue, a practice the guerrillas resorted to during the high points of the separatist violence in Kashmir.

Security forces are carrying out surprise checks of vehicles at some places in the city and the outskirts. This is being described as routine drill by the officials.

Asked whether there are any specific intelligence inputs about possible guerrilla attacks in the city or elsewhere, a senior intelligence officer said: “No, there is no special input, but we will endeavour to provide foolproof security in connection with the country’s Independence Day functions.”

To focus attention towards their demands, the separatist Hurriyat group led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has called for a protest shutdown to coincide with Independence Day Aug 15.

Tensions have usually mounted in the Valley on the eve of the country’s Republic Day Jan 26 and Independence Day ever since separatist violence started here in early 1990s.

Many times in the past, separatist guerrillas have tried to disrupt the official functions here.

“It is usual for tensions to rise in Kashmir around Jan 26 and Aug 15, but definitely tensions are less in the city this year,” said Nazir Ahmad, 35, a businessman here.

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