Security tightened in Kashmir, Salvation Movement on hunger strike

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Srinagar, Jan 22 (UNI) To curb the movement of militants and other anti-national elements ahead of Republic Day (RD), security forces and police have launched a massive search and frisking operations in the city and outskirts.

However, Salvation Movement (SM), a constituent of Hurriyat Conference (Mirwaiz), alleged that security forces are harassing former militants and their families in the name of security.

Official sources said there were intelligence inputs about militant plans to carry ourt blasts and other acts of violence on or before the RD on January 26.

Militants had been firing rockets and rifle grenades at the Bakshi stadium, venue of the main RD and Independence Day functions in the summer capital, in the Nineties. However, due to tightened security arrangments, militant plans to carry out attacks during RD and ID were thwarted during the past eight years.

Almost all vehicles entering the city were being searched and passengers frisked at different points.

However, women passengers were allowed to sit inside the bus while their bags frisked. The male passengers were allowed to board the vehicles again after their identity cards were properly checked.

A Central Reserve Police Force (FRPF) official said, ''We have orders from the top to search all the vehicles entering the city from outskirts for security reasons.'' Similar checks were also conducted in other areas.

A UNI correspondent saw security forces frisking passengers near Bakshi stadium.

Sources said the city remained by and large peaceful during the past six months because of unprecedented security measures taken by the authorities.

CRPF and police personnel were deployed after every ten feet in the civil lines to thwart any militant attack.

Meanwhile, about 30 activists of SM today began hunger strike near here to protest against the alleged harassment of former militants and their family members by security forces and police.

Former militants had to visit nearby police station or security force camp to prove that they have not joined the militancy again.

Days before RD and ID celebrations every year, majority of these militants are detained only to be freed once the celebrations are over.

UNI BAS SB KP1719

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