Tight security in Kashmir ahead of R-Day

Jammu/Srinagar, Jan 23 (IANS) In the backdrop of Pathankot terror attack, intelligence agencies and security forces are reviewing arrangements for the forthcoming Republic Day functions in Jammu and Kashmir on a daily basis.

“Security review meetings are being held on a daily basis this time to take a relook on everything concerned with providing security to Republic Day functions in the state,” said a senior intelligence officer.

He also the army’s Jammu-based 16 Corps and Srinagar-based 15 Corps are actively engaged in these review meetings.

“In the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack, the focus is on important security installations across the state…,” the officer said.

The main Republic Day parade and flag hoisting takes place in the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu city where Governor N.N.Vohra is scheduled to take salute.

More than 1,000 security men have been deployed to secure the venue. After the final rehearsal of the parade on Saturday, its overall security will be handed over to the army.

In 1995, series of explosions took place inside the stadium when the then governor general K.V. Krishna Rao was delivering the Republic Day speech. Twelve people were killed and were left 60 injured.

In the absence of an elected government, Divisional commissioner Kashmir, Asgar Samoon will take salute at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar.

Besides CCTV cameras, electronic access control equipment and human surveillance and supervision, security forces are employing unmanned aerial vehicles, Drones to keep a watch.

All vehicles entering Jammu and Srinagar city are being thoroughly checked to prevent movement of militants.

“It is not that our levels of preparedness were any less during the previous years, but after re-appraisal of things necessitated by Pathankot strike, we have increased patrolling and positioning of men and security equipment,” said a senior police officer.

“We have a 210 km long international border spread in the three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua. Infiltration has taken place through this border in the past. So there can be no lowering of guard this time,” said another senior police officer in Jammu city.

All separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, have called for a complete shutdown on January 26.

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