Security grid being further tightened for establishing peace in Valley

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Shakeela Andrabi

SRINAGAR: Despite tight security arrangements, the increase in terrorist attacks in Kashmir Valley during last few months created a huge concern for security agencies. After many civilian target killings, the terrorists recently fired upon a traffic cop at Rajouri Kadal in heart of Srinagar city and after that, terrorists attacked railway policeman at Awantipora Pulwama but he escaped unhurt. Two days prior, on December 10, two policemen were martyred when terrorists fired on a Police party in District Bandipora.
To curb terrorism and ease the tensions, authorities have erected several barricades in downtown area of Srinagar city, especially in Khanyaar near Gousia Hospital, near Islamia College Hawal, Sheri Bhat Chowk Zadibal Police Station Alamgar Bazar, Bhishmbar Nagar and Munwarabaad. In addition, authorities also started stop-and-frisk operations across the city.
In order to further strengthen the security grid, high-resolution cameras with facial recognition technology (FRT) are likely to be installed in the summer capital soon. A proposal in this regard has been moved while the need for this technology has been felt after recent spate of terrorism-related incidents in the city and currently about 300 cameras have been installed across the city to monitor the movement. “There is a proposal of installing FRT in the city and after installation in the city FRTs are likely be installed in other district headquarters,” an official said. “A facial recognition system uses biometrics to map facial features from a photograph or video,” the official said.
This technology can help in preempting and preventing attacks in the future. “In case a known over-ground worker steps out, the police personnel in control will be alerted once the name of the suspect emerges from the database,” the official said, adding the movement of the person under surveillance will be tracked and recorded. States like Telangana, Delhi etc are already utilizing facial recognition systems for surveillance and authentication of identity. Officials of the security grid told, “Technology can help in preventing attacks in the future. For instance, if a known over-ground worker steps out, the police personnel in control will be alerted once the name of the suspect emerges from the database. His movement will be tracked and recorded.” Presently, besides human intelligence, CCTV cameras and drones are being used as security measures. The mobile bunkers of different security agencies operating in Srinagar are fitted with high-resolution cameras. These bunkers remain stationed at different locations in the city for the entire day. Security bunkers manned by the central armed paramilitary forces (CAPF) have been set up in many areas of Srinagar where these were removed between 2011 and 2014 following improvement in the security situation across Kashmir.