SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir’s security grid has been put on a high alert in the wake of the upcoming Republic Day and the ensuing Bharat Jodo Yatra (BJY) while as frisking has been intensified in Srinagar, Jammu highways, and sensitive areas of the Union Territory.
A senior police official, as per the news agency KNO, said that for the Republic Day, the security grid has been tightened and forces including police and CRPF have been deployed across the UT and all sorts of arrangements are in place to ensure the smooth passage of all official functions of January 26.
“This time around, we have a double challenge—one of Republic Day and another of BJY. Extra deployments have been made wherever necessary and all security agencies have been directed to maintain the highest level of alertness to foil the evil designs,” the official said, wishing not to be named.
BJY led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has already entered Jammu and is scheduled to reach Srinagar on January 30.
He said that all vigil is being maintained on the highways, in sensitive areas, and in all major cities and towns. “In Jammu city, deployment has been made for both Republic Day and the BJY while similar arrangements have been put in place in Srinagar district,” the officer said.
Eyewitnesses said that in Jammu city, police and paramilitary CRPF men have launched massive frisking operations while a close watch is being maintained on the suspects.
In Srinagar, police including the women police and CRPF have started intense frisking operations with commuters travelling on four-wheelers and two-wheelers being frisked thoroughly. “I was travelling from Pantha Chowk to Sonwar and was stopped by CRPF men. I was asked to show the ID card. The CRPF men also took my photograph and when I asked why he took the snap, he replied that he had to show it to his superior,” said Showkat Ahmed, a resident of Pantha Chowk.
Police sources said that as part of the heightened security grid for the peaceful conduct of Republic Day and BJY, all the CCTVs have been made functional in Srinagar and in all districts of Kashmir while the movement of vehicles and pedestrians is being closely watched from the respective control rooms of police.
A police source said that it was likely to go for aerial surveillance through drones in Srinagar and Jammu on January 26 to maintain aerial vigil. “We may use drones a day ahead of Republic Day,” he said, adding, “Night patrolling is also being conducted in several areas of Kashmir and Jammu.”
Many other commuters and auto-drivers said that they were stopped at multiple points from Dalgate to Lal Chowk and thoroughly frisked.
The main Republic Day function will be held at Jammu where LG Manoj Sinha will unfurl the tri-colour. In Srinagar, LG’s Advisor, Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar will take the salute of the parade and also hoist the national flag.
Pertinently, LG Sinha told reporters at Zewan, Srinagar on January 20 that elaborate security arrangements have been made to facilitate BJY. Earlier, DGP Dilbagh Singh had stated that all security measures were in place for the smooth conduct of all official functions on Republic Day eve across the UT.