Srinagar: Amid alleged militant threats emerging ahead of the crucial G20 meeting, the top cop of the Kashmir Valley took a surprise round of the city during the night to check the preparedness of the police force and said night-and-day domination by security forces would be ensured to make the prestigious programme a grand success.
Passing through the lanes and bylanes of the interior city, Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar reached a checkpost at Panthachowk, an area always bustling with traffic as it forms part of the National Highway connecting the Valley with the rest of the country.
A 1997-batch IPS officer, Kumar took out time to stand with his jawans who have been tirelessly maintaining tight vigil along the crucial highway, a possible route for militants to enter the city.
Kumar, who was accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Balwal, found out about the difficulties of the personnel besides guiding them in performing their job in pressing circumstances.
“This is a high-pressure job but, in the end, we have to be 100 per cent alert. Any failure can prove costly,” Kumar told the police personnel on duty.
Talking to PTI Video, Kumar said the police force is completely geared up to meet any challenge.
“Generally, we have a naka (checkpost) for 365 days but whenever an important event happens, every one of us is on the roads to ensure that people sleep peacefully.
“The number of checkposts has definitely increased and many of my senior officers are moving around the city in the last 15 days. Today, I have come out myself to boost their morale and stand next to my jawans on the road,” Kumar said.
He said patrolling is part of maintaining night domination of the areas and helps in countering any threat of a militant sneaking into the city from South Kashmir.
He accepted that there is a threat from militant groups in view of the forthcoming G20 meeting.
“Obviously, the threat is there but what are we here for? Let us not forget the motto of J-K Police that says ‘A saga of sacrifice and courage’. Nothing untoward will happen,” Kumar said.
Kashmir will host the third G20 tourism working group meeting from May 22 to 24. The first working group meeting on tourism was held at the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in February and the second one in West Bengal’s Siliguri in April.
This is the first international meeting being held in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Kumar also went into the interiors of the Nowgam area in Srinagar where the threat has been higher. He met the police and CRPF personnel posted there and took stock of the situation.
During his visit to the area, Kumar pointed to an under-construction building and directed the officers to post a sniper there to ensure that the eventuality of a suicide attack is averted.
The Valley’s top police officer also pointed out that women cops were also present in the likelihood that female passengers need to be searched.
“We are religiously following all the Standard Operating Procedures and are hopeful that the event will pass off peacefully,” Kumar said.
He also said some preventive arrests of overground workers and suspects were made as a precautionary measure.