Hurriyat leaders, ex-MLA caged, security stepped up on Modi’s Kashmir visit

Hurriyat leaders, ex-MLA caged, security stepped up on Modi’s Kashmir visit
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Srinagar: The government on Saturday launched a crackdown against pro-freedom camp ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday while security has been stepped up across the Srinagar to prevent any attack.

Scores of policemen and CRPF soldiers deployed on roads were seen carrying checks of vehicles and identity of inmates.Scores of policemen and CRPF soldiers armed with assault rifles erected barricades in Lal Chowk, MA Road, Batamaloo, Parimpora, Dalgate and Nishat area.

At Parimpora, scores of bikers were stopped by policemen at a checkpoint. Many complained that their bikes were seized despite possessing valid documents including driving licenses. Similarly, just outside Partap Park in Srinagar, policemen and CRPF soldiers had erected barricades and were seen carrying out frisking of commuters. They were also checking documents of vehicles.

Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to arrive in Srinagar on Sunday to inaugurate developmental projects at SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake. As such scores of armed personnel have been deployed along the Boulevard road. The entire stretch of road from Nishat to Dalgate crossing has been blocked for public movement and barricades manned by forces personnel have been established on the road.

A commuter said Nishat- Dalgate road has been sealed and nobody was being allowed to pass through the area given the high-profile visit and he had to commute through alternate routes to reach Shalimar.

Meanwhile, pro-freedom leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehra were placed under house detention at their respective residences. Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani is continuing under house arrest at his office cum residence in Hyderpora since 2010.  Also former legislator Engineer Rasheed who was planning to welcome Modi with black flags has also been house arrested.

Condemning the house detention of its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat spokesperson in a handout said that entire Kashmir especially Srinagar has been turned into a “military garrison” ahead of Modi’s visit.

“Resistance leadership is caged in their homes or police stations and massive frisking and search operations being conducted everywhere leading to harassment of general public,” it said.
Denouncing the curbs, TeH termed it complete “highhandedness” of the authorities. “The government did not have the courage to face the resistance leadership politically so choking their peaceful activities, placing curbs on their movement and arresting them, and in a way accepting defeat,” said TeH in a statement.
Engineer Rasheed’s party spokesperson said that a police party raided former MLA’s residence and forced him to accompany police station Rajbagh to which he refused.  He was later placed him under house detention, it said in a handout.
In the evening, Rasheed said, “after daylong house arrest, dragged to police station ruthlessly from my residence”.
Meanwhile, traffic police has issued an advisory for Srinagar in view of  Modi’s visit.
“No traffic shall be allowed to ply from Badyari Chowk to Nishat via Boulevard and similarly no traffic shall be allowed from Ram Munshi Bagh towards Grand Palace and Nishat via Gupkar,” it said.
Similarly, commuters travelling from Harwan, Shalimar, Nishat and adjacent areas towards Lal Chowk are requested to travel via Foreshore Road & Hazratbal, it added.
Commuters travelling from Dalgate, Lal Chowk and adjacent areas towards Harwan, Shalimar, Nishat shall adopt Nowpora-Khayam-Rainawari to reach their respective destinations, said traffic department, while regretting inconvenience caused to people.