JAMMU: Security forces on Saturday launched area domination patrol in forward villages along the International Border (IB) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir to frustrate any attempt by anti-national elements to disrupt the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations, an official said.Police assisted by other security forces also carried out a search operation in the Nikki Tawi area of Jammu as part of the stepped up security arrangements across the province which is hosting the main Republic Day function in the Union Territory, where Lt Governor Manoj Sinha will unfurl the national flag, the officials said.They said police along with CRPF, BSF and Army started area domination patrols in the villages near the International Border in Samba district as part of a security drill to keep an eye on suspicious movement from across the border.“We have started area domination patrols to look for loopholes to further strengthen our border security grid,” a police officer said.He said long-range patrol to cover 15 km per day was part of the area domination to scuttle any attempts by anti-national elements to disrupt the Republic day celebrations.In the past, attempts have been made from across the border to push armed terrorists and smuggle weapons to disturb the Republic Day functions, he said, adding police and other security forces are alive to the threat and have taken all necessary measures to counter the nefarious designs of the inimical elements bent upon to disturb peace in Jammu and Kashmir.The officials said police assisted by other security forces searched the Nikki Tawi area of Jammu city, where the main Republic Day function will be held at M A Stadium.However, no one was arrested during the joint operation, they said.Meanwhile, chief secretary A K Mehta chaired a meeting here to take stock of preparations to be put in place for the Republic Day celebrations, an official spokesman said.Senior police and civil officers including DGP Dilbag Singh attended the meeting, he said, adding detailed deliberations were held regarding the venues, security arrangements, parade and band contingents of Army, CRPF, Police, schoolchildren, cultural items, seating arrangements, transport and parking arrangements, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, medical aid, and emergency facilities.In Srinagar, the main function will be held at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, officials said.The Chief Secretary underscored the importance of observing the coronavirus SOPs and Covid-Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) by the participating contingents and audience.The departments concerned were directed to ensure maintenance of social distance by the gathering with only 50 per cent seating at the venues.The Health Department was asked to put in a mechanism for testing the participants prior to their participation in the event along with thermal screening of the audience on the day of the function at both the venues, the spokesman said.It was informed that in view of the prevailing COVID situation, participation of only vaccinated people is being ensured, with a special focus on schoolchildren in the age group of 15-17 years who are being vaccinated on priority. (PTI)
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