Separatists under house arrest, Srinagar deserted ahead of PM Modi visit
Authorities have clamped down on separatists in the valley and placed them under house arrest ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kashmir.
Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house detention in the morning fearing that he was planning an anti-Modi rally in downtown Srinagar.
"A huge posse of police and paramilitary was deployed at the Nigeen residence of senior Hurriyat leader and he was asked not to venture out of his home," said Hurriyat spokesman Shahidul Islam.
Hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani was placed under house arrest since Wednesday evening. Around 10 pm, police men in strength were deployed outside his residence at Hyderpora. JKLF chief Yasin Malik is also asked not to venture out of his house.
"We have asked the officers involved in the security to keep an eye on the activities of suspicious elements. Such elements always try to find an opportunity to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in the state," said director general of police (DGP) K Rajendra Kumar after meeting the top officials in Srinagar.
Separatists have called for a shutdown against Modi's visit to Kashmir. While Geelani described it as "cultural aggression", Malik accused him of playing politics over flood tragedy.
Meanwhile, Srinagar wore a deserted look ahead of the Prime Minister's visit. Shops and business centres remained closed and there was thin traffic on the roads.
Security has been beefed up in politically sensitive localities. Modi will arrive in Srinagar around 12:30pm and will head for Srinagar's Raj Bhawan.