SRINAGAR: The Kashmir valley remained completely shut amid enforced forces deployment, suspension of mobile internet and reduced traffic across the region on Sunday to make the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narinder Modi peaceful in the state.
Modi, who was on his last visit to the state before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, inaugurated and launched infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 30,000 crore. During his trip, he visited Jammu, Srinagar and Leh, where he interacted with locals and dedicated key education and power projects to residents of the region. In Jammu, he launched several educational and infrastructure projects. His last destination was Srinagar where he took a visit of the Dal Lake.
The government had snapped mobile internet, suspended train services and deployed forces in large numbers at several places to prevent any possible attack. The Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), the venue in Srinagar where the Prime Minister was received, was kept out-of-bounds for people. At SKICC, he delivered a speech to a select audience ferried in from different parts of the valley.
The Kashmir valley, including upper town areas of Srinagar which used to defy shutdown calls, remained shut on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) led by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yaseen Malik. The leaders had asked to mark the day as a protest against “tyranny and oppression” during five years of Modi’s rule.
Geelani continued to remain under house detention at his Hyderpora residence, while Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence. Other resistance leaders including Engineer Hilal War, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Javaid Ahmed Mir, Mukhtar Waza and others have either been placed under house arrest or lodged in various jails under preventive custody. Former legislator Er Rasheed was also kept under house arrest.
Business establishments, petrol pump stations and Sunday markets were all shut. There were some incidents of sporadic protests. At Habba Kadal, protesters engaged forces in stone throwing. Kashmir highways were guarded by teams of police, CRPF and the army.
Modi was secured by special security guards (SSG), special commandoes deployed on the road stretch from Dalgate to SKICC and drones.
On Saturday, a day ahead of Modi’s visit, police had laid check points across areas where he was due to arrive and seized bikes.