January 2019 News

On Republic Day Eve, Militants Attack Forces With Grenades In Kashmir, Security Tightened

25 January 2019
The Hindustan Times
Ashiq Hussain

Srinagar: Two grenade attacks by suspected militants were reported in Kashmir on Friday even as multi-tier security arrangements have been put in place across the Valley ahead of Republic Day celebrations. A police constable was wounded on his leg when suspected militants lobbed a grenade on a police party in the bus stand of Anantnag town late on Friday afternoon. He has been hospitalised, a police official said. Another grenade was lobbed at a CRPF camp in Tahab area of Pulwama district which burst outside the camp with no loss of life or property. A third blast happened near a CRPF bunker in north Kashmir Sopore town without any consequences. SP Sopore, Javid Iqbal said they are ascertaining the nature of the blast. 'Can't say whether it was a grenade or something else. We are checking if any nearby shops have been damaged,' he said. Authorities have tightened security across the Kashmir Valley particularly in capital Srinagar as police and CRPF have laid check points at a number of places. There have been at least six grenade attacks in the Valley so far this month, including two in Srinagar, on January 17 and 18. 'Adequate security arrangements have been made for the Republic Day celebrations,' said inspector general of CRPF, Ravideep Sahi. 'We have intensified area domination, doing speculative searches, checking and frisking. A multi-tier security has been put in place,' he said. Security officials will also be using technology to thwart any subversive activities. 'We will be using CCTV cameras and drones as well,' Sahi said. The situation in Kashmir has been far from normal. Over 252 militants and as many as 91 security personnel were killed in different encounters in 2018. In January, 2019 so far, 15 militants have been killed in different encounters - nine of them died since January 21 alone. Separatists have asked people to observe a shutdown on Republic Day. On Friday, chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik was detained by police from his office at Abi Guzar and shifted to police station Kothi Bagh, a spokesperson of the leader said. The police have already blocked a stretch of road on which the Republic Day venue Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium falls. They restricted traffic movement from Radio Kashmir Chowk up to Ram Munshi Bagh -Gupkar Crossing from January 19 due to 'security reasons'. 'We have to sanitise the road, which is why it is blocked. The restrictions will be lifted by the concerned authorities after January 26,' Sahi said. On Thursday, a full-dress rehearsal was held at the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium where divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, unfurled the national flag, inspected the parade and took the salute at the march past. The main Republic Day function, in which governor Satya Pal Malik will participate, will be held in the state's winter capital, Jammu where the biannual Darbar currently resides. The governor's administration has ordered mandatory attendance of government employees during the Republic Day celebration, drawing attack of political parties. Such instructions have been issued in the past as well.