60 taken into preventive custody, red-alert in Kashmir on RD

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Srinagar, Jan 25 (UNI) In view of the high degree of threat perception, general strike call given by separatists and recovery of RDX and IEDs, a red alert has been sounded in the Kashmir valley to foil any militant plan to disrupt the Republic Day (RD) celebrations tomorrow.

Meanwhile, more than 60 known trouble makers, anti-national elements and former militants were taken into preventive custody since yesterday in different parts of the valley.

Roads leading to Bakshi stadium, the venue for main RD function in the summer capital, were closed for traffic since yesterday morning for security reasons.

Sharp shooters wearing bullet proof jackets and holding automatic weapons could be seen deployed in strength in and around the stadium, which remained main target of militants in Nineties.

Security forces have blocked all roads near the stadium with barbed wire and also parked bullet proof vehicle bunkers in the middle of the roads to thwart any fidayeen attack on or before the RD function.

A group of women were seen pleading security forces to allow them to enter the high security zone since they had to meet their relatives living in government quarters at Tulsi Bagh. However, they were directed to take a longer route by security forces who were instructed not to allow any civilian.

Even a CRPF vehicle was not allowed to enter the area and the driver was directed to come from Amar Singh college side.

''We do not want to take any chance,'' a security force jawan said, adding that militants, who carried out fidayeen attack in the past, were wearing police or paramilitary force uniform.

Jammu and Kashmir Education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone was killed in high security Tulsi Bagh quarters in a fidayeen attack in 2005 and there was also another suicide attack on passport office in the indoor stadium, since shifted to Dalgate.

Militants in the nineties fired rockets and grenades towards the stadium and carrid out grenade attacks elsewhere in the city.

However, due to unprecedented security arrangements, no such incident took place during the past about eight years.

Security forces and police personnel, deployed in the city on all important routes were seen searching vehicles, frisking passengers and checking their identity cards in sub-zero temperature.

A senior CRPF officer said search of vehicles, frisking people and conducting random crack downs in the city was started few days before the RD to keep militants out from the areas adjacent to stadium.

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