Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani were put under house arrest today as restrictions were imposed in parts of the city following their call to march towards Lal Chowk.
The police reached the Hyderpora residence of Geelani and Naseem Bagh area residence of Farooq and conveyed to them the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir authorities of placing them under house arrest as a precautionary measure, officials said. “As the authoritarian rulers once again belie any claim to democracy by imposing #HouseArrests #Curfew #Restrictions #Barricades #Blockades closure of educational institutions on the visit of Indian PM to valley, I will peacefully march towards #LalChowk at 11 am,” Farooq tweeted this morning.
The separatists had given a call for a march to Lal Chowk, located in the heart of the city, to protest against the alleged violence by security forces in the valley. During his Friday sermons, Farooq had said that the one month suspension of anti-militancy operations in the Valley was not enough.
He had urged the Centre to revoke draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act besides initiating a dialogue process with Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, especially the separatist groups.
Lal Chowk has been barricaded and all entry points sealed to prevent people from gathering in the area, the officials said.
Tight security measures were placed in the entire city last night in the wake of the prime minister’s arrival here this afternoon. Restrictions were imposed in downtown areas and vehicular movement, other than that of tourists, was bare minimum.
The roads wore a deserted look as people preferred to remain indoors. A three-tier security ring has been been thrown around the city ahead of Modi’s visit and all roads leading to the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre were blocked for any vehicular movement, According to the traffic police advisory, all roads leading to the venue would be closed till tomorrow afternoon until the prime minister is in the city.
The river police wing of state police, the CRPF and the BSF have been deployed in the Dal lake while the Army has been asked to dominate the Zaberwan peak overlooking the venue where Modi would carry out the inaugurate a power project and a ring road around Srinagar.