Crackdown in Lal Chowk, frisking at several other places

People Complain Of Inconvenience; Police Terms It Routine Security Drill

SHABIR IBN YUSUF

Srinagar, June 21: Police Friday carried out a cordon and search operation in the city's commercial hub Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas following intelligence inputs that militants might try to sneak in. Some other parts of the city witnessed frisking of vehicles, putting people to lot of inconvenience.
 All traffic between Residency Road and Amirakadal Bridge was suspended and people present along the one kilometre stretch were asked to queue up for frisking, police said.
 No one was arrested during the hour-long operation which was a common sight during the 1990-2000 decade when militancy was at its peak.
 The sources said the operation was carried out in view of inputs that militants might try to sneak into the city to disturb peace by carrying out subversive activities. Eyewitnesses said that Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in large numbers descended on the City Centre area and cordoned off the market from the Clock Tower up to the Court Road to conduct frisking of pedestrians and shopkeepers.
 They said that commuters, tourists and shopkeeper were lined up in a queue as forces personnel checked their identity cards. The traffic in the congested area was diverted to other routes during the search operation. The vehicles parked in area were also searched thoroughly.
 "In scorching heat, cops were frisking pedestrians in Lal Chowk. They were demanding identity cards from the people, mainly youth and thoroughly checked their belongings," Mushtaq Ahmad, a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk told Greater Kashmir. “Police and CRPF men carried out searches intermittently throughout the day. Motorcyclists and those traveling in auto-rickshaws were being frisked for the whole day in Lal Chowk,” he said.
 The incident created panic in the area and people were seen inquiring from each other about the reason for sudden crackdown in the City Center.
 Reports of frisking and random checking of vehicles were also received from several other parts of Srinagar. The vehicles entering into the City were also being checked at the entry points. The frisking and random checking of vehicles was being carried out at Rambagh, Humhama, Sher-e-Kashmir Park, Lal Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Budshah Chowk, Maisuma, Ganta Ghar, and other parts of the city.
 Reports said that private and public vehicles were also thoroughly checked by the police at various places. Policemen were also checking the documents of bikes and light vehicles.
 Independent sources in police said that the movement of people is also being monitored through close circuit cameras, installed at various places in the city. They said that police and paramilitary forces were also frisking vehicles entering Srinagar at Parimpora, Bemina, Panthachowk, Soura and Zakura on city outskirts.
 However, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari told Greater Kashmir that it was a routine security drill. "The frisking is a part of routine security arrangements and drill,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 21 Jun 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 22 Jun 2013 00:00:00 IST




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