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J&K roundtable: Security tightened around venue

Sharp shooters have been deployed around the SKICC venue for the second roundtable, to be chaired by the PM.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 16:22 IST

Sharp shooters have taken position in and around the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex (SKICC), venue for the second roundtable Conference, to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, set to begin on Wednesday.

All roads leading the SKICC, on the bank of famed Dal Lake, have been closed for security reasons in view of the threat by four militant outfits to disrupt the conference as well as the recent 'fidayeen' attack on a Congress rally and the series of grenade attacks in the city during the past 48 hours which left nine dead and scores wounded.

The Boulevard road leading to the SKICC from Dalgate has been closed for all types of vehicles since Monday morning. Similarly from the Nishat side, the road has been closed with barbed wire and security vehicles parked in the middle.

"We have orders from our senior not to allow any vehicle beyond this point," a security force official, posted at Dalgate crossing, said.

He said even the security force and police vehicles are being properly searched and documents checked before allowing them to move towards the Nehru park. This is being done after two 'fidayeen', who attacked the Congress rally at Sher-e-Kashmir Municipal Park near here on May 21, were dressed in police uniform, he added.

The distance from the Dalgate to SKICC has to be covered on foot. Security forces, wearing bullet proof jackets and holding automatic weapons could be seen on both sides of the road, ready to respond to any militant attack.

All by-lanes, leading to main road, have also been closed and residents have to use alternative route through old Dalgate to reach their destination.

Similarly, the residents of Nishat, Shalimar and Harwan are forced to take longer route via Hazratbal to reach the city.

First Published: May 23, 2006 15:45 IST