Srinagar- The elite National Security Guard (NSG) commandos on Thursday carried out search and frisking operation in this capital city, while the Navy’s Special Forces continued patrolling around the Dal Lake in run-up to the G20 meeting being held here next week under unprecedented security arrangements.
According to reports, a posse of NSG commandos on Thursday appeared in Lal Chowk area of the city here and carried out domination and security sanitisation ahead of the G20 meeting scheduled to begin on May 22. The commandos were accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir police and the paramilitary CRPF personnel during the exercise.
The security men reportedly checked the hotels in the city centre and collected some information from the owners and the staff as well. The NSG commandos also assessed the situation around Lal Chowk’s Ghanta Ghar which is being renovated for the G20 meeting.
Likewise, the elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Indian Navy also carried out security drills inside the Dal Lake and the Sher-e- Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), the main venue of the G20 meeting in the Valley.
According to official sources, Marine Commandos were getting familiar with the Lake, five years after being deployed to secure the G20 meeting venue. They are carrying sophisticated weapons to eliminate any possible threat to the conduct of high-profile event.
“The Commandos will be patrolling inside Dal Lake on a regular basis till the G-20 event is over,” they said.
Meanwhile, security arrangements elsewhere have been further strengthened for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the G20 meeting.
According to reports, checkpoints have been established at all the entry points leading to Srinagar. Joint teams of CRPF and police carry out uninterrupted searches of all vehicles entering the city.
CRPF men were also seen using IED detectors and sniffer dogs along the banks of Dal Lake to ensure road stretch was free from explosives.
“I went to Doodhpathri with my family for a picnic on Sunday. However, on our return in the evening, every vehicle was being thoroughly checked by police and CRPF teams,” Syed Majid, a resident of Hawal, told Kashmir Observer.
He said that he witnessed unprecedented security arrangements with a gun-toting policeman or a CRPF personal standing in a state of alertness after a few feets and keeping a close eye on whosoever passes by.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that G-20 is peoples’ event and not the administration’s or police function.
“We have made elaborate security arrangements. A three-tier security cover will remain to ensure incident free events. Guests will come on May 22 and leave on May 25,” he said.
The ADGP Kashmir said that police will put in place anti-drone equipment with the help of NSG and the army. “Police are fully capable to deal with any threat in water bodies but since Marine commandos were available, they have been deployed in Dal Lake and other bodies,” he said, adding that police, CRPF and SSB teams will also be deployed in strength to foil any possible threats by militants.
To a query whether there would be any restrictions, ADGP Kumar said that no curbs would be placed anywhere.
“Some rumour mongers are spreading rumours about curbs. Strict action will be taken against such elements,” he said.
The Kashmir police chief said that all the security teams have been properly briefed to ensure general people don’t face any inconvenience during the G-20 event.
India assumed the Presidency of the powerful grouping G20 from Indonesia on December 1 and is hosting about 200 meetings in 32 different sectors in multiple locations across the country. The third G20 tourism working group meeting will be held in Srinagar between May 22-24.
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.
It comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU). (With agency inputs)
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Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed
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