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news details
Srinagar sees full Independence Day dress rehearsal amidst tight security
8/13/2019 10:14:35 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, A ug 13: It is an unusually sultry morning in Srinagar, as several batches of Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and paramilitary stand smartly in the Sher-I-Kashmir Stadium for the full dress rehearsal, ahead of the Indpendence Day on August 15.
This is the first big government function since the abrogation of Article 370. The clampdown has continued for the ninth day, but multi tier security with CRPF and JK Police guarding the venue at Sonwar Bagh.
The Sher-I- Kashmir Stadium was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1983. The venue also saw international matches in 1983 and 1987 with the Indian team playing West Indies and Australia respectively. Some old timers talk nostalgically of the matches.
Bakshi Stadium, also in Srinagar, is the government's chosen venue and is being refurbished to prepare it to match world football body Fifa's standards. But this independence day, the focus is back to Sher-I- Kashmir Stadium.
The buses bring in the marching contingents and cultural troupes that will represent all three regions. The area in-charge of security is PD Nitya, sub-divisional police officer, JK Police. The only woman IPS officer in Srinagar, she says "it's a big responsibility. I have to ensure the outer and inner security of the venue."
Dressed in a Kashmiri dress and jewellery, a girl from Jammu hails Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to abrogate Article 370. "We are extremely proud of what has happened. It is moment of pride we get to participate in the function." Some of the other women dressed in varied bright colours, echo her sentiments.
Another girl says "Our parents are worried, since there is no phone connectivity. However, our team leader managed to contact each of the families and conveyed to them of our well being."
Few from Srinagar want to speak on the issue. Farha Nishat a Jammu Kashmir Police officer is leading the women's contingent. She says "It's a proud moment for me. I wish all a happy Independence Day.
This as a pipe band plays "Saare jahan se acha".
Governor Satya Pal Malik will be the chief guest at the official function, unfurling the national flag. Union Home Minister Amit Shah who was to arrive in the Valley, has decided to put off his visit on the advice from security apparatus.
There is special security force (SSF) of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) manning the inner circle ahead of the important function. The black uniform and red caps make them look like hybrids of the NSG "black cats" and the paratrooper commando's adorning the red hat.
The force of 200 has been created to especially guard the Governor, who is now facing very high threat. He has been wearing a bulletproof jacket at all public events.
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