Apprehending possible strikes by militants on the eve of New Year in Kashmir, security agencies have been put on high alert across the Valley.
The militants, who have been lying low for the last few months, may mark their presence by carrying out attacks that include stand-offs or targeting the security forces with IEDs. The militants may try to show their presence by targeting tourist places on New Year eve,” a senior police officer told DH.
He said as tourists have gradually started to come back to Kashmir to celebrate Christmas and New Year, they have decided to ensure fool-proof security at all the tourist places in the days ahead.
“Strict night patrolling is being carried out by army, CRPF and police in their respective areas and area domination is part of the regular security drill. Extra vigil is being maintaining on crucial and sensitive highways while as suspicious vehicles and persons are being stopped at for frisking,” the officer said.
Inspector General of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi, said though there is no specific threat, there is a general input that the militants may mark their presence by carrying out strikes on the security forces on the eve of New Year.
“The CRPF men are maintaining extra alert to foil the possible designs of militants on the eve of New Year,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Bollywood bigwigs had to cancel their proposed Christmas gala at ski-resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir. “We have learnt that an advisory was issued by the respective production houses to their people not to venture anywhere in the country, owing to massive public outcry against the Citizenship Amendment Act,” an official told DH.
In a bid to send message that Kashmir was safe for tourists, the Jammu and Kashmir government had invited film production houses to celebrate Christmas at Gulmarg. The official said now the Bollywood bigwigs are expected to arrive in Gulmarg on January 10 next year.
The Bollywood production houses that were expected to arrive at Gulmarg included, Yash Raj films, Dharma Productions, Sony Film Productions, Reliance Film Production, Rohit Shetty Films, Star Fox, Star Disney, Excel Productions, Ajay Devgan Productions, Cineyug Productions, Balaji Telefilms, MTV, T-Series.
Days ahead of August 5 decision of the Center to abrogate provisions of the Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, the government issued an advisory asking tourists and pilgrims to leave the Valley immediately.
The advisory created a fear psychosis within and outside the valley as thousands of tourists and Amarnath pilgrims left in hurry. The advisory was officially lifted on October 10.