Security on maximum alert on eve of Republic Day in J&K
On the eve of Republic Day, Security across Jammu and Kashmir were put on maximum alert on Friday while separatist leaders have called for a shutdown in the Kashmir Valley.
The main Republic Day function will be held in the winter capital Jammu where Governor Satya Pal Malik will unfurl the national flag and take salute at a parade by contingents of police, Army, paramilitary forces and school children.
Its venue has been shifted to the stadium of Jammu University from its traditional venue, Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu city.
Frisking of commuters, checking vehicles entering Jammu city and setting up mobile and static checking points are some of the security steps taken to ensure a peaceful Republic Day in Jammu city.
In Srinagar city, the summer capital, the security arrangements are even tighter.
All vehicles entering, exiting and moving around in Srinagar are being thoroughly checked after their occupants are asked to deboard and frisked individually.
Closed circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance, low flying drones and high-tech access control equipments are in place to ensure that militants are prevented from disrupting the official functions to be held in Srinagar on Saturday.
Traffic has been suspended on some roads in Srinagar.
Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, an advisor of the Governor, will unfurl the national flag and take salute at the main Republic Day parade at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar on Saturday.
The hillock overlooking the stadium has been taken over by police and paramilitary commandos.
Roads leading to the main parade venue in Srinagar have been sealed.
"Extra precautions are being taken this year because of the two militant grenade attacks in the city recently," a senior intelligence officer told to the media agency.
The officer said that while the security duties in the Valley were being performed by police and paramilitary forces, the Army has been kept on standby.
Circulars have been issued asking government officials to be present at the parade venue. Those who fail to come may face disciplinary action.
Tensions have traditionally mounted in the state around the Republic Day and Independence Day ever since the ongoing armed violence started in the state.
Separatist leaders have called for a shutdown in the Valley on Saturday and appealed to people to observe Republic Day as a "black day".