Srinagar, Aug 14: Sharpshooters have been deployed atop high-rising buildings while vigil is being kept through drones on the roads leading to S K Stadium — the main venue for Independence Day function in the Union Territory — and its adjoining areas to throttle any militant attack.
Security has been beefed up across the valley, where Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar asserted that all precautionary measures have been taken to foil any attempts by militants to cause disturbance.
Meanwhile, checkpoints have been established at various places in the city, where security forces are randomly checking vehicles, particularly two-wheelers, frisking passengers and checking their identity cards before allowing them to move ahead. Security forces have also set up checkpoints in the city outskirts to prevent militants from smudging weapons into Srinagar.
Security personnel were deployed in strength in Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of the summer capital, Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street (HSHS) and other parts of the city, where a journalist of a local news agency was arrested along with two grenades on Tuesday.
A police official said that several high-end drones have been pressed into service in Lal Chowk, Sonawar, and adjoining areas to keep aerial surveillance near the main ID function venue. “High tech drones have also been pressed into service in Anchar and adjacent areas of Soura, besides other parts of the city,” he said.
He said drone surveillance is being used within the 2-kilometre radius in/around these sensitive areas, particularly near S K Stadium. “Aerial surveillance helps to keep a close watch on the suspects. It also helps to further strengthen the security cover that is put in place,” he said.
Contrary to previous years, the roads leading to S K Stadium at high security Sonawar remained open for civilian movement. However, security forces would close these roads later in the evening. Special identification cards have been issued by authorities and only people carrying these passes will be allowed to move towards the venue of the ID function in Srinagar on Sunday.
Sources said that security forces have been put on high alert to foil any attempts by militants to create disturbance and expressed confidence that the function will happen peacefully without any incident. “Three layer security arrangements have been made in Srinagar city and other parts of Kashmir valley to foil any attempts by militants to create disturbance during ID celebrations,” they added.
Security forces are exercising more caution in the wake of heightened militant activities in the city and other parts of the valley during the last over a week. Ten people were on Tuesday injured in a grenade attack by militants in Hari Singh High Street market — few hundred metres from the city centre.