Heightened security marks Republic Day arrangements in Kashmir

Jammu/Srinagar, Jan 24:  A state of high alert and heightened security marked Republic Day arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday as additional deployment was made in areas close to the borders to prevent infiltration of guerrillas.

Top security sources told IANS that more than 1,600 additional paramilitary forces were deployed close to the international border in the Jammu region to prevent infiltration from across ahead of Republic Day.

R-Day: Security beefed up in J&K

Mobile vehicle check posts (MVCPs) and additional static check posts were pressed into service in Srinagar and Jammu to check the entry and exit of people and also man security inside the two cities.

All vehicles entering Jammu and Srinagar city are stopped at the outskirts, occupants and vehicles are thoroughly checked before being permitted to enter.

"There is nothing new about our preparedness on the eve of Republic Day. It is routine and we are following the same drill this year as well," said Inspector General of Police of the Kashmir zone Abdul Ghani Mir.

Reports from the other district headquarters of the state said security had been tightened there as well as flag hoisting and ceremonial parades are held at each district headquarter on Republic Day.

The main Republic Day function in the state would be held at the M.A. Stadium in Jammu, where the state Governor N.N. Vohra would be present.

1,600 additional paramilitary forces were deployed close to border

In Srinagar, the function would be held at the Bakshi Stadium.

Despite the fact that a lot of media hype has been provided to security arrangements in the country on the eve of this year's Republic Day because it coincides with US President Barack Obama's visit, life in the state is relatively relaxed as compared to previous years.

"There is nothing new about extraordinary security around Jan 26 and Aug 15 in Kashmir. We are used to it and life goes on as usual," said Nazir Ahmad, 54, who lives in Chanapora locality of Srinagar.

State director general of police K. Rajendra Kumar, however, told reporters that three-tier security arrangements were in place for Republic Day functions. "We are working in close coordination with the intelligence agencies and the army," Kumar told IANS.

In rural areas of the Kashmir valley and the Jammu region, the Rashtriya Rifles have started patrolling the roads with sniffer dogs by their sides.

A senior official of an intelligence agency confirmed to IANS that except for a general alert there was no specific input about guerrillas planning a target oriented attack anywhere in the state.

"Yes, we have a general input about militants planning to show their presence to attract international attention, but there is nothing specific about any target oriented attack being planned by them," the officer said.


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