1,260 VDC members guard Bhaderwah for President's visit tomorrow

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Bhadarwah, J&K, May 24 (UNI) About 1,260 Village Defence Committee (VDC) members have been alerted in Doda district to help ensure an incident-free visit of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who will formally inaugurate the Jammu University's campus here tomorrow.

''In order to ensure the President's visit a peaceful event, 1,260 VDC members in district have been specifically activated to maintain round-the-clock vigil to thwart any possible attack by the militants,'' an official source told UNI today.

Following the recent upsurge in violence in the State, tight security arrangements have been made. ''Nearly 700 armed personnel have been deployed for guarding the venue,'' the official said, adding that the troops of Army, CRPF and State police had sanitised the area and completed area domination exercise.

''Frequent frisking of the people and search operations around the township are carried out by the security forces. Forces are keeping a close eye on the movements in Bhaderwah town,'' the official said.

Security forces had blocked all possible routes towards Bhaderwah by setting up pickets of Special Task Force (STF) of the State police and Army on the upper reaches at Padri Galli, Chattar Gali Pass, Bacch Dhar, Gajoth and Shankhoja, sources said.

All the link roads leading to interiors were closed yesterday while special patrols of security forces had been intensified along the National Highway-1B and other main roads to Bhaderwah.

The Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) are camping at Bhadarwah to closely monitor the situation.

Mrs Patil is scheduled to stay for about one-and-half-hour and address the Jammu varsity students gathering, besides inaugurating the Bhaderwah Campus of Jammu University tomorrow.

A brief cultural programme depicting rich traditional heritage of this hilly region will also be organised, wherein local and state artists will perform Bhaderwahi folklore.

UNI XC-VJ GT KP1449

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