After Grenade Attacks, Security Further Intensified in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Aug 14: A day after two rifle grenades were fired by suspected militants towards paramilitary camps in old city, the security apparatus across Kashmir especially around Bakshi Stadium, where the main function on August 15 (India’s Independence Day) will be held, has been further beefed up.

Two rifle grenades were fired towards Hotel Kahkashan housing 162 Bn CRPF Headquarters and Hotel Ikhwan housing camp of 82 Bn CRPF in Srinagar on Saturday evening. The grenades, however, missed the intended targets and exploded in the compound of Ghulam Mohammad Takka son of Ali Mohammad Takka at Nowpora Bridge and Noor-ul-Hassan Bhat son of Ghulam Hassan Bhat at Bishember Nagar. The window and glasspanes of the houses were damaged due to the impact of the explosions.

After the grenade attacks, the security apparatus across Kashmir especially around Bakshi Stadium and other places, where the August 15th functions will be held, has been further beefed up.

The strength of police and paramilitary personnel has been increased at the sensitive places and more nakas and check-points have been set up in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. All the sumo and other vehicles entering Srinagar from other parts of the Kashmir are being thoroughly screened and the passengers frisked.

Police and CRPF men have been deployed around Bakshi stadium and all roads leading to the venue have been sealed. All the residential and commercial buildings around the stadium have been sanitised by a joint search parties of police and paramilitary soldiers.

All high-rise buildings around Bakshi Stadium have been occupied by sharp shooters to ensure that these vantage points are not used by militants to shoot Rifle Propelled Grenades (RPGs) at the parade venue.

The police and paramiltiary men were carrying out surprise checks of vehicles at some places in the city and the outskirts. Even the purses and bags of women passersby were being searched by the cops.

A senior police officer said fool proof measures have been put in place in and around the city to ensure smooth conduct on the August 15th functions.

“All adequate measures have been taken to thwart any militant strikes,” he said.

He also said Bakshi Stadium where Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah would hoist the flag is under fool proof security.

“No restrictions would be put in place on Monday. However, the frisking and search operations at sensitive and suspected places in city and other places will be carried out,” added DIG.

Another police official said a three-tier security blanket has been further tightened around stadium to thwart any attempt by militants to carry out a strike. “After last night’s grenade attacks, we have further tightened the security measures,” he said.

He said teams of intelligence sleuths in plainclothes have been spread in the city and other sensitive towns of the Kashmir. “They are keeping a close watch on the movement of people. We have used modern technology combined with human intelligence to manage security on ground,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, reports said some youth took to roads at Nowhatta, Gojwara and some other adjoining areas in old city and burst fire crackers to celebrate the Independence of Pakistan. They also chanted pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans.

Later, the slogan shouting youth at Nowhatta clashed with police and CRPF men, who were deployed in strength in the area.

A police spokesman while confirming the clashes said, “Some miscreants in the day attempted to disrupt peace and resorted to stone pelting on police and forces deployments in Nowhatta area. Police exercised restraint while dealing with the situation and miscreants were chased away. No one was hurt in the incident.”