Amid reports of three rifles being looted by suspected militants from police in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar late Thursday night, security forces in J-K were put on high alert on Friday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit commencing from 19 May.
All entry and exit points into Srinagar and Jammu have been sealed by police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who allowed vehicles to enter the cities only after thorough checking and frisking of the occupants.
Makeshift barricades and mobile bunkers have been put up to regulate traffic to ensure that no unauthorised movement is allowed during the visit.
Top officials said peripheral security to the Prime Minister’s visit was being provided by the Army.
Traffic jams were seen on Friday at some places both in Srinagar and Jammu cities as traffic moved at snail’s pace due to multiple checkpoints.
PM Modi will tour all the three regions of the state during his visit.
He will inaugurate the 330 MW Kishenganga hydroelectric power project in Bandipora district in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday.
He will lay the foundation of the Zojila tunnel in Drass area of Kargil district. After completion, the tunnel would provide all-weather connectivity between the Valley and Ladakh region that otherwise remains cut off during the winter months.
PM Modi will also attend the 100th birth anniversary of revered Ladakhi spiritual leader, Kushak Bakula, in Leh town.
The Prime Minister will address the convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in Jammu on Sunday before returning to New Delhi.
The Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir comes two days after his government announced a ceasefire against militants to provide for a peaceful environment during the holy month of Ramadan.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the Centre has told security forces to not launch any operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan, however, the forces reserve the right to retaliate if attacked.
In a series of tweets, the Home Minister’s Office (HMO) said, “The Centre asks security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. Decision taken to help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment”.
“Security forces reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties,” said HMO in another tweet.
“It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror,” another tweet read.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had welcomed Centre’s decision to implement Ramzan ceasefire, while thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for their intervention.
CM Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet had said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire and would like to thank PM Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders and parties, who participated in the all party meeting and helped build consensus towards this announcement, she added in her tweet.”