Security stepped up in Valley ahead of August 15 celebrations

Srinagar: Security has been stepped up across Kashmir region ahead of the August 15 celebrations, in the aftermath of recent attacks by militants in the Valley.

Militants carried out four attacks in Shopian district of south Kashmir and summer capital Srinagar in a span of 12 hours in which 15 persons including five government force personnel were injured.

Police and CRPF personnel have been deployed in strength across the summer capital of the state and vulnerable spots in other major towns of the Valley to thwart any attacks by the militants to disrupt the August 15 celebrations on Saturday, a police official said.

Forces have set up temporary barricades at several places in the city and elsewhere to check any movement of militants, he said.

Kashmir valley including Srinagar has witnessed a spurt in militant attacks amid reports of a significant number of local youth joining militant ranks, besides attempts by the militants to sneak into the Valley from across the border over the past few months, causing concern among the security agencies.

A grenade blast outside a mosque in Shopian district of south Kashmir resulted in injuries to 10 persons who were coming out of the place of worship after offering morning prayers.

The militants had planted a similar device outside the house of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant but police detected the device and destroyed it.

Four police and paramilitary personnel including two officers were injured in a grenade attack by militants outside a police station in Khanyar locality of downtown Srinagar last night.

Militants yesterday opened firing on an army patrol resulting in injuries to one soldier.

Earlier this year, the militants carried out attacks on mobile towers and service providers in Sopore, Bandipora, Handwara in north Kashmir and Srinagar which left two persons dead and several others injured.

Besides, four persons have been killed by militants in Sopore over the past two months, who carried out several grenade attacks as well.

Three militants of Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit were also killed as government forces stepped up the counter- insurgency operations in Pulwama district of south Kashmir since the beginning of this month.

Various measures have been taken to ensure peace and maintain law and order during the August 15 functions, the official said.

A thick security blanket has been thrown around vital installations here including Bakshi Stadium – the main venue of the August 15 function in Jammu and Kashmir, where Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is scheduled to unfurl the national tricolour and take salute at the march past. (PTI)