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- Published 21.09.03
Srinagar, Sept. 21: People’s chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s decision to live in a “plebian” place in the middle of the busy business hub is giving his securitymen nightmares.
Having already spent Rs 2 crore to renovate his official residence — predecessor Farooq Abdullah used to stay in his private house on Gupkar road — they are now losing sleep to ensure he is safely “entrenched” behind the four walls.
Overnight, massive iron gates have come up on the road outside the entrance to Mufti’s residence. The gates mark just the beginning of ambitious security arrangements going on inside and outside the house. “Three-tier doubly re-enforced walls are being laid all around the lush green lawns of the chief minister’s residence,” an official overseeing the construction said.
The pedestrian mall outside has been blocked to make space to build the “concrete security barricades and the outer wall” that are already giving the house the look of a fortress in the making.
A secret tunnel is also being laid inside the house, though it is being kept under wraps. “An emergency escape corridor inside the residence would be used in case of emergency,” the official said.
“That is nothing out of the ordinary. The types of attacks militants have been carrying out have given us an insight into the precautions we must take,” he added.