Elaborate security arrangements made for PM’s Kashmir visit

Srinagar: Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who would address a public rally here on Saturday.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has been turned into a virtual fortress as police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed across the city to ensure that the Prime Minister’s visit passes off peacefully.

All roads leading to Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, the venue for Modi’s rally, have been sealed and only people with security passes issued by the authorities are allowed to move close to it, a police official said.

The official said concertina wires have been laid at the entry points to the city to regulate the movement of the people, who have been invited to the Prime Minister’s rally.

Sharpshooters have been deployed atop high rise buildings in three kilometre radius of the venue to prevent any subversive activity while CCTV cameras have been installed inside and outside the venue for keeping an eye on any disruptive elements, the official said.

The venue of the Prime Minister’s rally has been off limits for general public for the past three days.

All business establishments, schools and colleges have been closed in view of
the apprehensions of law and order problem during the high-profile visit.

The heightened security arrangements have been put in place as separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a parallel rally to that of the Prime Minister at Tourist Reception Centre ground – stone’s throw from the stadium.

While the top separatist leaders including Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have been placed under house arrest, over 200 others have been taken into preventive detention.

After addressing the public rally here, Modi would inaugurate 450 megawatt Baglihar Phase II power project in Ramban district on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

He is also scheduled to lay the foundation stone of four- laning of Udhampur-Ramban stretch of the National Highway. The project, once completed, will reduce the travelling time between Srinagar and Jammu – the twin capitals of the state — by nearly two hours.