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High security along Kashmir rail track

Srinagar, March 9 (IANS) High security has been deployed along the 119-km rail track connecting south and north Kashmir after separatist guerrillas bombed a part of it on the outskirts of Srinagar city two days ago.

A portion of the track was damaged after guerrillas carried out an IED blast at Wanabal, Nowgam, Monday.

Mubarak A. Ganai, deputy inspector general (DIG), railways, said: ‘Over 1,100 personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Railway Protection Force (J&KGRPF) have been deployed to protect the 119-km-long track from south Kashmir’s Qazigund rail station to north Kashmir’s Baramulla rail station.’

The DIG said there are six railway police stations and nine police posts spread over the valley.

‘In addition, the central Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Railway Protection Security Force (RPSF) are also doing security duties in the valley. The RPF and J&KRPSF are headed by a commandant level officer. The RPF personnel are deployed as train escorts and they also manage bunkers and watch towers along the rail track.

‘A senior superintendent of police (SSP) and two deputy superintendents (DSPs) belonging to the state are controlling the 1,100 plus personnel of the J&KGRPF,’ the DIG said.

‘We have a shortfall of about 800 troopers to meet the enhanced security demands and this is likely to be met within the next two to three months.

‘We have already beefed up security along the entire track and arrangements are in place to thwart any subversive attempts,’ the DIG said.

Rail operations in the valley had remained suspended for over four months last year after violent mobs torched railway property worth crores of rupees and also damaged the rail track at various places.

‘The train runs normally these days between the southern and northern parts of the valley and with the weather showing signs of improvement, we plan to increase the frequency during the coming summer,’ an official of the railways said here.

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