Srinagar: Kashmir on high alert on Independence day Security in Kashmir has been beefed up to thwart any possible strikes by the militants in the run-up to August 15 functions in Jammu and Kashmir.
In Srinagar, the police and paramilitary forces are maintaining an extra vigil in the wake of escape of militants from a hide-out at Batamaloo. For the first time, Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium Sonwar will host the I-Day function as the traditional venue Bakshi Stadium is being renovated.
Earlier this year, Republic-Day function was also held at the stadium. Yesterday the full dress rehearsal was inspected by the divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan who also took salute at the parade.
Owing to the change in venue, many areas in the city that include Dalgate, Gagribal, and Sonwar are witnessing massive forces’ build up for being closer to the official venue SK Stadium. Security Forces has been deployed in every lane and by-lane while as special commandos and sharp shooters have been deployed atop Sulaiman Hillock to foil possible attempts by the militants to disrupt the I-day. Outside the SK Stadium, many make-shift bunkers have come up. Intense frisking is underway across Kashmir, especially Srinagar, where main I-day function will be held.At least 30 to 40 police barricades from Batamaloo to Dalgate on one side and Hari Singh High Street to Ram Munshi Bag on the other where bikers, and those travelling in four wheelers are stopped, frisked and asked to show the identity.
A source said that at least 42 Close Circuit Television sets are functional to ensure tight vigil is maintained and militants are kept at bay.At SK Stadium Governor N N Vohra will be unfurl the tri-colour and take the salute.
Meanwhile, in view of Pakistan’s Independence Day (August 14) and August 15 functions in J&K, authorities have suspended AmarnathYatra for three days. Officials said that due to prevailing security situation no fresh batch of Amarnath pilgrims would allow for Jammu Base Camp from August 13 to August 15. However, pilgrims at Pahalgam or Baltal are not restricted to perform pilgrimage. The 60-day yatra will culminate on August 26, on the eve of RakshaBandhan. So far 2,78,878Yatris had the darshan of the Shivling at the Holy Cave in south Kashmir.