Kashmir on high alert ahead of India I-Day event

Srinagar

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. The director general of police (DGP) Shesh Paul Vaid said that stringent security arrangements are in place for the August 15 functions. “As you saw, how forces acted swiftly on the basis of a lead about presence of militants (at Batamaloo). We cautiously carried out the operation to ensure there is no collateral damage as the area is highly congested,” Vaid told reporters on the sidelines of a full-dress rehearsal function at SK Stadium here. He said the militants who managed to flee from Batamaloo are in injured condition and would be caught soon.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements so that people celebrate I-day without any fear,” Vaid said.
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. A resident said that the security 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.—GK

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