Massive security blanket in J&K ahead of Modi’s visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addresses the media on the first day of the Budget Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI file photo

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, a massive security blanket has been put in place in the backdrop of a recent surge in militant attacks in the state.

Sources said security forces personnel in hundreds armed with metal detectors and accompanied by sniffer dogs have been deployed in and around the venues of the Modi’s visit and entry into the areas has been restricted. They said in the backdrop of recent deadly militant attacks in the state, multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place ahead of Prime Minister’s rally with additional companies of paramilitary forces deployed in and around the areas where Modi is expected to visit.
 
“The venues have been scanned for landmines and IEDs several times in the past one week and since then it is out of bounds for civilians,” they said and added the exact details as to how Modi will reach the venue has been kept a secret due to security reasons. Sources said Special Protection Group (SPG) has already taken over the control of the areas where Prime Minister will visit. “It is the normal security protocol that before the visit of Prime Minister to any part of the country SPG sanitizes the venue,” they added.
 
Modi would begin his visit from Leh in Ladakh, where he would go to the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies auditorium and lay the foundation of various developmental projects, including the recently-sanctioned Ladakh University. Later he would fly to Vijaypur area in Jammu, where he would lay the foundation for all-India institute of medical sciences (AIIMS), Shahpur-Kandi Dam project, Jammu-Akhnoor-Rajouri-Poonch highway, Sunderbani college and IIMC in Jammu and also address a public rally before heading to Srinagar.
 
In Srinagar, Modi is scheduled to visit Army’s 15-Corps headquarters at Badamibagh cantonment and will interact with elected sarpanches of Kashmir. He will also lay the foundation of AIIMS and IIM in Kashmir, the source said. Modi will return to New Delhi in the evening.
 
A senior police officer said all the security agencies operating in Jammu and Kashmir, including Army, paramilitary and Jammu and Kashmir Police have been put on high alert. 
 
The separatists including, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have called for the state-wide strike on Sunday, to protest against the Prime Minister’s visit.
 
Inspector general of police, Kashmir range Swayam Prakash Pani said adequate security arrangements have been put in place for the PM’s visit. “There is no specific threat but a general one. All measures have been taken to keep militants at the bay,” the IGP responded to a question.
 
Meanwhile, ahead of Modi's visit to Srinagar, police on Saturday launched a massive crackdown on motorcyclists in the city. A witness said that the police seized motorcycles despite the riders possessing valid documents.
 
A police officer said that bikers were being stopped as part of the security exercise. “Bikes are being seized only if the riders fail to produce valid documents,” he said.

 

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Massive security blanket in J&K ahead of Modi’s visit

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