Amid I-Day Security Lockdown: Jammu & Kashmir police team scrambles for shelter in Walled Cityhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/amid-i-day-security-lockdown-jammu-kashmir-police-team-scrambles-for-shelter-in-walled-city-4800192/

Amid I-Day Security Lockdown: Jammu & Kashmir police team scrambles for shelter in Walled City

A head constable and a constable, posted at a police station in Srinagar, were accompanied by two persons. They were looking for a woman, who was suspected to have disappeared from her village near Srinagar, and were accompanied by the complainants.

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Security personnel at Red Fort on Independence Day. Express photo by Amit Mehra

A two-member team of officers from Jammu and Kashmir Police, which came to Delhi for an investigation, was denied accommodation at several guesthouses and hotels at Jama Masjid area before the Independence Day celebrations on Monday. Strict security arrangements at Red Fort and its surrounding areas meant that no hotel was ready to give them a room.

A head constable and a constable, posted at a police station in Srinagar, were accompanied by two persons. They were looking for a woman, who was suspected to have disappeared from her village near Srinagar, and were accompanied by the complainants.

They told Delhi Police that they had come in search of the woman, who was suspected to be staying at Jama Masjid.

The men reached Delhi around 7 am and it was only after the intervention of officers at the Jama Masjid police station that they were able to get a room — around five hours later.

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The two were in plainclothes but were carrying their identity cards. Sources said the strictness at the Walled City was such that the officers even had to submit details of the vehicle that dropped them to Jama Masjid area from the airport.

Police sources said in many cases, teams from other states do not inform local police that they have come for a raid or a search as they feel information could be leaked.

“In this case too, there was no prior intimation to local police about the visit of the Jammu and Kashmir police team. They said they would inform us after their operation,” a police officer said. “Since, there was information regarding an alleged terrorist from Kashmir hiding near Jama Masjid area, police was on high alert before the Independence Day, said sources.

Police had sensitised hotel and guesthouse owners and had asked them to keep a track of visitors. Sources said police had briefed hotel owners about the suspected terrorist and suspected terror attack.

“On seeing that the men were carrying I-cards of Jammu and Kashmir Police, hotels refused them accommodation. They went to several guesthouses but were turned away,” sources said.

After checking and verifying their identities with state police, the local police station staff then helped them getting accommodation at a guesthouse.

The team stayed in the city till Wednesday afternoon and left for Srinagar following the completion of their operation.

During the process of checking and ensuring security in the walled city, local police had impounded about 50 vehicles from the area.

Flying kites around Red Fort and Jama Masjid was also restricted on and before August 15, sources said.

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