J&K: Forces step up surveillance along highways

Jammu and Kashmir: Forces step up surveillance along highways to thwart attacks

Representative image.

Security forces have stepped up surveillance along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and other major roads across Kashmir with more CCTV cameras being installed to monitor the movement of suspects.

Sources said that the installation of more CCTV cameras on the highways was taken up soon after three militants travelling in a truck were killed after they opened fire at a police team at Bann toll plaza near Nagrota on the National Highway on January 31.

“Not only along Srinagar-Jammu highway, but CCTV cameras will be installed at security checkpoints along Jammu-Pathankot highway as well to avoid militant attacks,” they said and added that the deployment of additional forces and preventing civilian vehicles to enter in between convoys are some of the measures taken to counter the militant strategy.

In recent years, major fidayeen (suicide) attacks, including the 14 February 2019 Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF men were killed, were carried out by the militants along the highway.

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh confirmed that after the recent Bann toll plaza attack, they have started to install more CCTV cameras all along the national highway. “The cameras will also be installed on other highways to monitor the movement of suspects,” he told reporters.

While Srinagar-Jammu National Highway is 270 km long, the 35-km stretch between Bijbehera town to Pampore in south Kashmir had turned out as a death trap for security forces from 2015 to 2019. In the four years, militants targeted forces frequently on this segment, resulting in dozens of casualties to security forces.

“After CCTV cameras were installed at various points on this stretch along the highway, security agencies could preempt the militant strikes. Besides the increase in deployment of forces on this vulnerable stretch that connects Valley with rest of the country, the installation of CCTV cameras ensured that there was no repeat of Pulwama like attack,” a senior police officer told DH.

“The national highway, Jhelum river and the railway track crisscross this stretch and it had become easy for militants to target security forces.  But after a proper vigil, the militants have been kept at bay,” he added.

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