Chaos in Kashmir, Amid tight security ahead of Republic Day

Srinagar January 25, 2011 (Calcutta Tube) Amid tight security arrangements, chaos and confusion is prevailing in Kashmir valley as Republic Day will be celebrated tomorrow. Bakshi stadium and Lal Chowk have been rendered out of bounds for the people in view of heightened security.

To foil the much-hyped ‘Ekta Yatra’ high alert has already been sounded in the state and even few borders sealed to prevent any disturbance. Tight security arrangements are in place in and around at Bakshi stadium, main venue, where the grand Republic-Day celebration is to be held.

All roads leading to the venue (Bakshi stadium) have been sealed with barricades and also the concertina wires. Most of people in the city remained confined indoors and there was very thin movement of vehicles on roads. Government and private offices here and other major towns of the valley also noticed very thin attendance, reports said.

Amid heightened security arrangements, the Republic-Day will be celebrated tomorrow. The summer capital has been transformed into a garrison. Frisking has been intensified in the city and all major towns of Kashmir.

To foil the BJP’s ‘Ekta Yatra’ and also the JKLF flag hoisting plan at Lal chowk tomorrow, dozens of BJP activists including some top leaders have already been arrested. Meanwhile police this afternoon arrested three BJP leaders including Chaudary Sham, Professor Gharu Ram and Jugal Kishore from Srinagar Airport, sources told Agence India Press.

The state government has closed the Srinagar-Jammu highway for traffic from both sides to prevent BJP activists from reaching the valley.

Sources told Agence India Press that police is constantly conducting raids in hotels and restaurants to check the presence of BJP activists.  Today also sources said that few activists were arrested from Dalgate area here.

Reports said that police also conducted to nab JKLF leaders including its chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik. Clock tower too is almost out of bounds for the people. The repair work and the renovation of the historical tower have nearly completed. Police and CRPF cops deployed in strength at Lal chowk are keeping a strict vigil as the bullet proof vehicles have also been put on alert in the city center.

CCTV cameras have been installed at vital installations including Hari Parbhat and also Shankar Acharaya hills (at high altitude) to monitor the situation and prevent any untoward incident from taking place. The cameras have also been installed at Jehangir Chowk, Dalgate, Regal Chowk and few other vital places in the city.

Jammu bound passengers told Agence India Press that they were suffering immensely due to the closure of Srinagar- Jammu highway since Monday.  In view of strike call by Hurriyat Conference (G), vehicular movement came to a screeching halt in the city and other major towns after 4 PM this evening. Reports said that markets here and other major towns also remained closed after 4 PM in view of the strike call.

Meanwhile reports said that security forces’ have occupied major hospitals in the valley giving inconveniences to people especially patients and attendants. (AIP)

Amin Masoodi / Agence India Press

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