Amid shutdown in Valley, tight security arrangements, R -day celebrated in JK’


Srinagar,The Republic Day functions across the state passed off peacefully without any untoward incident reported, in view of the intelligence reports that militants would target the functions in the Kashmir valley.
The Kashmir valley observed a complete shutdown while people stayed indoors and the streets were deserted except for the thousands of police personnel and soldiers that dotted the Srinagar City and other Major towns.
Call for shutdown was given by Kashmir’s joint separatist leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
According to KNS correspondent, the streets in Srinagar wore a deserted look as people preferred to stay indoors. Police and Central Reserve Police Force men were seen manning roads in riot-gear to prevent protests or possible strikes by militants.
Roads leading to main venue of R-day function, the Sheri Kashmir Stadium, where Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri unfurled the tri-colour, were sealed. A witness said scores of barricades were put in place by police and CRPF men to prevent any “unlawful gathering and attacks by militants.”
This year, the main Republic Day function was held at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium instead of the regular venue, Bakshi Stadium.
Contingents from the J-K Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) took part in the parade.
Reports said complete shutdown was also observed in Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, Kupwara, Baramulla, Budgam and Ganderbal districts.
The Director General of Police S. P Vaid said that no untoward incident took place anywhere in the state and that all official functions passed off peacefully. “We had made elaborate security arrangements to ensure peaceful R-Day functions,” DGP told KNS.
He added that adequate security arrangements were put in place to thwart any designs of militants to disrupt the celebrations.
Mobile internet services were suspended on Thursday as part of the security drill of Republic Day. This was the first time that these services were withdrawn a day earlier.
“The services were snapped as a security measure,” an official said and adding that the services were restored in the afternoon on Friday.
Snapping of mobile phone and internet services on mobile devices were added to the security drill in 2005 after militants detonated a bomb using a cell phone near Bakshi Stadium on Independence Day that year.
Meanwhile according to KNS Jammu correspondent, Governor N.N. Vohra took salute at the march past at the Maulana Azad Memorial Stadium amidst unprecedented multi-tier security.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, her cabinet colleagues, Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta, high court judges and senior army police and civil officials were also present at the function.
It is to mention here that a high alert had been sounded in Kashmir following an “intelligence input” that a non-Kashmiri woman suicide bomber might disrupt the R-Day celebrations in the Valley.
A message circulated from the office of Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) to all district police heads and chief of security wing in Kashmir, said “there is a strong input” that an 18-year-old woman non-Kashmiri woman might “cause a suicide bomb explosion” near or inside the R-Day parade in Kashmir.
“All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of anti-national elements,” read the alert.
However the Kashmir Police chief Friday claimed to have arrested a suspected suicide bomber. Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who serves as the IGP Kashmir, told reporters on the sidelines of R-day function in Srinagar that they have “fortunately” apprehended the suspected woman late last night.
“Fortunately, yesterday after working on all the leads we were able to apprehend the suspect late last night,” he said, quickly adding that they were still verifying whether or not she is a suicide bomber. (KNS)