SRINAGAR: Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, the main venue for the official celebration of India’s 74th Independence Day, has been garrisoned by thousands of policemen and paramilitary troops. Roads leading to the venue have been barricaded to prevent anti-India demonstrators and militants from reaching there.
Since 1990, when the anti-India insurgency erupted in the Valley, Srinagar turns into a ghost town ahead of India’s Independence Day and Republic Day. Pro-freedom groups call for observing these days as ‘Black Days’.
Passersby were being searched and quizzed by forces deployed in the area. Electronic access control equipment, drones, CCTV cameras, sniffer dogs have been deployed at strategic locations to monitor the situation.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police SP Pani told Kashmir Reader that “all the security precautions and arrangements to ensure peace on August 15 have been taken. We have made route diversions for the convenience of people.”
Aaked if mobile and internet services will be snapped, Pani said this information cannot be shared for “security reasons”.
In north Kashmir, too, deployment of forces has been increased. Sources said that police and paramilitary forces have intensified patrolling on main roads and streets in Baramulla, Sopore, Rafiabad, Handwara, Kupwara, Bandipora, Hajin and other places. The troops are checking every public and private vehicle on the main roads.
The official functions will be held at district police lines Baramulla, Sopore, Handwara, Kupwara and Bandipora, where Deputy Commissioners and additional DCs will unfurl the national flag and give salute. In preparation for these, several meetings have been held where officers ordered their subordinates to ensure a smooth function and several transporters were called to ferry school children and other people to the functions.