Srinagar: Security was put on maximum alert on Tuesday in Srinagar and other major towns of the Valley ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on Friday.
After being elected as the Prime Minister, it will be Modi’s maiden visit to the state. During his one-day visit on Friday, he will inaugurate train service from Udhampur to Katra town that houses the shrine of Vaishno Devi. Later he will fly to the border town of Uri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district to inaugurate 240 MW Uri-II hydel power project.
A team of elite Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel have started arriving in Jammu and Kashmir to oversee the security around the venues. The SPG will form the first ring of the three-tier security that would be put in place for Modi.
Reports said security apparatus was further tightened in this summer capital and other major towns of the Valley, three days ahead of the scheduled visit of Modi. The theft of a former minister’s car has also sent the forces in tizzy and prompted them to launch widespread searches across the major towns and districts of the Valley.
The car belonging to Khurshid Ahmad Shah, a former National Conference minister, was stolen outside his residence at J-51 Govt Quarters Jawahar Nagar.
Here in Srinagar, a contingent of troopers and policemen carried out day long searches outside the Civil Secretariat, Batamaloo, Hari Singh High Street, Jehangir Chowk, Qamarwari and other areas, eyewitnesses said. The forces thoroughly checked private and public vehicles and frisked the people.
Security on Modi’s visit has also been strengthened in Lal Chowk and other parts of the city. A heavy posse of policemen with full battle gear has been deployed around the historic Ganta Ghar, Budshah Chowk, Maisuma, SK Park, M A Road, Dalgate and other areas of the city to prevent any untoward incident on Modi’s visit.
The forces carried out day long searches outside the Congress headquarters at the barricaded MA Road. The forces have also erected barricades at Jehangir Chowk and other parts of the city. “They seem to be in no mood to take chances,” Zahoor Ahmad, a city resident, said.
Security has also been beefed up across downtown Srinagar. The forces at Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar and other places of the Old City were seen frisking the people and subjecting them to identification checks.
The police also carried out surprise check of the vehicles on the entry and exit points in this capital city. Security around vital installations has also been beefed up apprehending militant attacks.
Meanwhile, reports of heightened security have also been received from the frontier districts of Kupwara and Baramulla of north Kashmir, where Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the power project.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that a high level meeting was held Tuesday with Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendran in chair. The meeting also attended by the officers of the paramilitaries discussed thread barely the visit of Modi and the security arrangements to be made in this regard.
Eight soldiers were killed and several wounded last year when militants ambushed their convoy in Hyderpora area of the city outskirts, a day ahead of Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh’s visit to the Valley.