Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Jammu & Kashmir tomorrow, security forces in the state were put on high alert on Friday, IANS reported. All entry and exit points into Srinagar and Jammu have been sealed by police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who allowed vehicles to enter the cities only after thorough checking and frisking of the occupants.
Makeshift barricades and mobile bunkers have been put up to regulate traffic to ensure that no unauthorized movement is allowed during the visit. IANS reported that top officials said peripheral security to the Prime Minister’s visit was being provided by the Army.
What is Modi scheduled to do in Kashmir
The prime minister will tour all the three regions of the state during his visit. He will inaugurate the 330 MW Kishenganga hydroelectric power project in Bandipora district in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday. He will lay the foundation of the Zojila tunnel in Drass area of Kargil district. After completion, the tunnel would provide all-weather connectivity between the Valley and Ladakh region that otherwise remains cut off during the winter months.
Modi will also attend the 100th birth anniversary of revered Ladakhi spiritual leader, Kushak Bakula, in Leh town. The Prime Minister will address the convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in Jammu on Sunday before returning to New Delhi.
What is separatists response to Modi’s visit
Modi’s visit to J&K comes two days after his government announced a ceasefire against militants to provide for a peaceful environment during the holy month of Ramzan. Separatists leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), have decided to march to Lal Chowk in Srinagar to protest against Modi’s impending visit to the state. The JRL has also called for a shutdown on May 21.
What is the situation in the valley
While the Centre directed the armed forces to halt its operation during the month of Ramzan, Pakistani forces continue to violate ceasefire. A BSF constable and a couple were among three people killed, as Pakistani Rangers continued targeting forward Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar shells and small arms fire along the international border on Friday. Six others including a security forces personnel were also injured in the Pakistani shelling. The Pakistani troops also resorted to firing and mortar shelling in Hiranagar and Samba sectors injuring a BSF constable P K Mishra and a civilian Daulat Ram in Bobbiyan area in early hours of Thursday.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has hit out at Pakistan for violating ceasefire, saying Islamabad has shown no respect for the fasting month of Ramzan. “Continued firing on the border in Jammu is cause of pain & worry. Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month,” she said in a series of tweets.
Suspected militants also allegedly looted cash at gunpoint from a bank in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Friday. The gunmen entered a branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank at Qaimoh area, 60km from here, in south Kashmir and allegedly looted Rs 3.28 lakh, a police official said. The area has been cordoned off and a hunt launched to nab them, the official added
In a serious breach of security ahead of Modi’s visit, militants on Thursday attacked a guard post of a hotel in Srinagar and fled with rifles. The incident caused a flutter within the security agencies and two policemen who were manning the guard post were detained for questioning.
(With agencies inputs)