Alert in Kashmir, intel inputs warn of female suicide bomber

A security alert has been issued in the Kashmir valley following intelligence inputs that a teenaged girl from Pune, Maharashtra, might carry out a suicide attack on Republic Day.
The alert, issued last night by Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, warned that there was a “strong input” that the suspect “may cause suicide bomb explosion near or inside the Republic (Day) Parade venue”. The note identifies the suspect as 18-year-old Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, a resident of Yerwada in the Pune area of Maharashtra. The official functions to commemorate Republic Day are held at headquarters of all districts in the Kashmir valley and the main function is held at the heavily guarded stadium in Srinagar. The security apparatus in the region is already in a heightened state of alert in the run-up to the Republic Day commemoration, which will be held on Friday. The police and other security agencies have increased the patrolling and carried out a series of area domination operations in the region to thwart militant attacks.
The note on the alert about the suspected female suicide bomber was dispatched to all district police chiefs of the Kashmir zone, directing them to ensure that the frisking of women is done “meticulously and with utmost caution”. “The matter may be treated as most urgent,” it warned. Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who serves as the IGP, Kashmir zone, confirmed that the alert had been issued and said the police was further verifying the input. He said there was no confirmation about the suspect’s organisational affiliation.
Sources in the police said the input about the suicide bomber was generated by “some other agency” and there were few details available about the suspect. “It is a raw input. There are very sketchy details that she is from South India and might have later settled in some Gulf country. The input has suggested that she may blow herself in an explosion,” a police source said. Another police official said they had been ordered to be on the lookout for the suspect.