PM Modi arriving today amid unprecedented security cover

Amid unprecedented security measures put in place in the summer capital Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be arriving in J&K on Sunday to inaugurate a series of projects worth Rs 44000 crore.
PM Modi arriving today amid unprecedented security cover
Photo: Aman Farooq/ GK

Amid unprecedented security measures put in place in the summer capital Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be arriving in J&K on Sunday to inaugurate a series of projects worth Rs 44000 crore.

As part of the security drill in the run-up to the PM Modi's visit, police intensified frisking and search operations in Kashmir while a massive crackdown was launched on the two-wheelers. 

All roads leading to SKICC Srinagar, where PM Modi is scheduled to e-inaugurate various projects, were sealed with special commandoes deployed along the famous Dal Lake to keep a close watch on the suspects.

The Prime Minister, according to Prime Minister's Office (PMO), will be visiting all the three regions of the state— Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir on Sunday. 

He is scheduled to lay foundation stones for various projects estimated to cost Rs 35,000 crore, and inaugurate projects worth Rs 9,000 crore.

According to a source in the BJP, the PM will visit the famous Dal lake in Srinagar during his visit to J&K. "He will lay the foundation stones of two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Vijaypur (Jammu) and Awantipora (Kashmir," a statement from the PMO said.  The union cabinet had recently approved setting up of the premier hospitals in the border state.

The Prime Minister will also lay foundation stone for the northern regional centre campus of Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Jammu. "The University of Ladakh will also be launched by the Prime Minister. It will be the first-ever university in the Ladakh region. It will be a cluster university comprising degree colleges of Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Drass and Khaltsi. The university will have administrative offices in Leh and Kargil," the statement said. 

"The Prime Minister will also digitally launch various projects under the RashtriyaUchchatarShikshaAbhiyan (RUSA). Besides, he will lay the foundation stones of three model degree colleges in Kishtwar, Kupwara and Baramulla. He will also declare 100-per cent electrification of households in J&K under the central government's Saubhagya Scheme."

Modi will dedicate to the nation the 220-KV Srinagar-Alusteng-Drass-Kargil-Leh transmission system. The foundation stone of this prestigious project was laid by Modi in August 2014. 

"The 400-KV D/C Jalandhar-Samba-Rajouri-Shopian-Amargarh (Sopore) transmission line will also be dedicated to the people by the PM. The project has augmented the grid connectivity in J&K. The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of 1,640-metre span double-lane bridge over the Chenab river in Sajwal." 

UNPRECEDENTED SECURITY COVER: 

While the Prime Minister's special security guards (SSG) have "taken over" the SKICC, a top police official said that unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones have been pressed into service around the venue to maintain aerial vigil. 

He said special commandoes have been deployed on the road stretch from Dalgate to SKICC. "Joint teams of the police and the CRPF men have also been deployed on the nearby Sulaiman hillock and Zabarwan mountain range," he said, wishing anonymity.

The officer said that checking of motorcyclists was a must as "it has been observed that militants have been using two-wheelers to lob grenades. To avoid civilian causalities in grenade explosions, bikes were seized for a time being." 

A source said that hundreds of bikes were seized in Srinagar, PanthaChowk, Pampore, Parimpora, and HMT. 

The move evoked strong resentment and anger from the owners of motorcycles. "Despite having proper documents and the driving license, my bike was seized at PanthaChowk.  Police men resorted to unruly behaviour when I insisted as to why my motorcycle was seized without any reason," said Lateef Ahmed, who was travelling from Pampore to Nowgam.

Many commuters echoed similar concern, saying that they had faced "harassment" at the hands of the forces as their motorbikes were seized. "We were asked to come on Monday to take back our motorbikes," they said.

TRAFFIC SUSPENDED

Traffic has already been suspended on the road stretch from Dalgate to Nishhat and the traffic department has already announced a traffic advisory asking people to take alternate route from Nishat to Hazratbal.

A top police official said that all angles and possible challenges have been kept in mind while framing and devising the security cover for the PM Modi's visit. "We won't leave anything to chance. We can't rule out militant strikes and for that all measures have been put in place to foil all the possible bids," he said.

Inspector general of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi said that elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure peaceful function at SKICC. "Forces are in an alert mode and the vigil has been stepped up to face any eventuality," he said.

He said all the CRPF installations across Kashmir, especially in Srinagar have been kept on alert mode. "This is part of a VVIP security arrangement," he said.

On all the Kashmir highways, joint teams of the police, the CRPF and the army are maintaining a tight vigil on the "suspicious" vehicle movement.

CRACKDOWN ON SEPARATIST CAMP: 

Police have launched a massive crackdown on the separatist leaders ahead of the arrival of Prime Minister Modi. 

While as Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house detention at his Hyderpora residence, chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest at his Nigeen residence. 

Several other resistance leaders including Engineer Hilal War, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai,  Javaid Ahmed Mir MukhtarWaza and others have either been placed under house arrest or lodged in various jails under preventive custody. "They have been taken into preventive detention to maintain order," a police official said.

TRAIN SERVICES TO REMAINS SUSPENDED: 

As per officials, train services from Banihal to Baramulla and vice-versa will remain suspended on February 3, a part of a security measure.

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