Modi Leaves for Srinagar, Separatists Under Arrest

The separatist leaders who gave a call for strike regarding Modi’s visit to Srinagar were put under house arrest on Thursday.

A shutdown called by separatists has affected life here and in the Kashmir Valley Thursday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew into Jammu and Kashmir.

On Diwali, Modi had visited the soldiers at Siachen and was scheduled to move to Srinagar to meet the flood-affected people at the Raj Bhawan. Government sources have said that the PM Modi will first arrive at the Siachen Glacier to celebrate Diwali with the soldiers, who guard the world’s highest battlefield for the country. "He is also scheduled to visit a relief camp besides visiting places badly hit by the floods in the city," said the source.

Modi had tweeted on his micro blogging site, “It’s my good fortune that I will be able to spend time with our brave soldiers on this special day." He tweeted, "After the Siachen visit I will continue with my scheduled visit to Srinagar to spend time with those affected due to the recent floods.”

In Srinagar, public buses went off the roads in Srinagar but private vehicles as well as auto-rickshaws continued to ply although in fewer numbers, residents and officials said. Security was reportedly tight in this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir as Modi prepared to reach the city after a visit to Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.

Most shops and businesses were shut in Srinagar, the urban hub of a dragging separatist campaign that has claimed thousands of lives in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989.

Police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in visibly large numbers all across Srinagar. Motorists were asked to show identity papers and pedestrians were frisked at random.

Meanwhile, separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani accused Modi of rubbing "salt on our wounds" by visiting Kashmir on Diwali but not extending Eid greetings to Kashmiri Muslims.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik said Modi was "politicising a human tragedy," a reference to the prime minister’s planned meetings with victims of the recent floods in the valley.

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