No one will be allowed to hoist any flag at Clock Tower: CRPF

10,000 personnel to guard Lal Chowk, Bakshi Stadium

WASIM KHALID

Srinagar Jan 25: A thick security blanket, comprising over 10,000 personnel, would guard the historical Lal Chowk to thwart any kind of flag hoisting attempt, claimed top state police and CRPF authorities on Tuesday.
 They said that strong police contingents would guard the clock tower day and night from today evening. The stringent arrangements have been made amid rising tension over the flag hoisting plan of Bhartiya Janta Party and the counter programme Lal  Chowk Chalo  by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front.
While claiming that they are fully prepared to deal with any situation, the top security officials said they won’t allow any one to raise any flag near the clock tower.
 “As far as CRPF is concerned, we won’t allow either BJP or JKLF to hoist any flag in Lal Chowk,” Inspector General, CRPF, PVK Reddy said at Lal Chowk, while assessing the security situation ahead of Jan 26.
He said they have received clear directions from the higher-authorities to ensure smooth conduct of republic day functions across Kashmir.
“We will maintain law and order at any cost,” IG said. “Required security mechanism has been put in place across Kashmir, especially around Lal Chowk area to thwart any attempt to create any disturbance”, he said
Reddy said that though unfurling of tricolor flag is a rightful act ”we won’t allow people to do politics over it”.
Regarding threat perception from the militants’ side, he said there is always a threat perception and “we are ready for it”.
IG, Kashmir range, SM Sahai said all arrangements have been put in place to deal with any situation.
“As of now, we are fully prepared to deal with any situation, if at all it arises,” Sahai said.
He said security has been beefed up in and around Lal Chowk area with the deployment of approximately 10,000 personnel from CRPF and Police to guard Lal Chowk and the Jan 26 celebrations venue- Bakshi Stadium, particularly in the backdrop of repeated attempts by BJP activists to enter state to participate in the party’s “Ekta Yatra” and counter programme announced by JKLF”.
 “We have also started river patrolling,” the top police official said, adding “And all the SHO’s whose jurisdiction covers Srinagar- Jammu highway, have been instructed not to allow free movement of vehicles on Jan 26”.
They have been also directed to go for intense frisking to search for the activists, if any traveling”.
SHARP SHOOTERS DEPLOYED
Meanwhile, police Tuesday afternoon sealed off the Lal Chowk by laying concertina wires and barricades on all the roads leading to it.
The sharpshooters have also been deployed around clock tower, besides large contingent of police and CRPF men have taken positions in the adjacent buildings and hotels.
Meanwhile, checkpoints have been placed at several areas of City, particularly in Lal Chowk, where forces are frisking pedestrians and searching vehicles. The vehicles were being thoroughly searched at Lal Chowk, Khayam, Batamaloo, Ram Bagh and airport road area today by the hundreds of police and paramilitary CRPF personnel, who have been deployed in these areas for past few days.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around Bakshi Stadium, where the main function of R-day is scheduled tomorrow.
The heightened security comes in the wake of BJP’s plan to hoist a tri-colour in historic Lal Chowk on January 26, a move which has evoked widespread criticism from many political quarters.
 Even the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has asked parties to ‘desist from scoring political points or primitive divisive agendas so that peace is not disturbed in sensitive Jammu and Kashmir.’
The central government has already supported the state government in thwarting the BJP’s plan.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST




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