Kashmir Separatists’ march casts shadow over Modi’s rally

Srinagar, Nov 2 (IANS) Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani’s proposed ‘Srinagar Million March’ on November 7 has become a headache for security agencies who have been detailed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally here on the same day.

Geelani has asked people to join the ‘Srinagar Million March’ in large numbers. Other separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Asiya Andrabi and others, have supported Geelani’s call for the march to coincide with Modi’s rally.

Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar reviewed the overall security situation in and around Modi’s rally venue on Sunday.

“A team of the SPG (Special Protection Group) is flying in today (Monday) to take over the security at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar,” an intelligence officer told IANS.

Hundreds of policemen, CRPF troopers, state and central intelligence agencies are working in tandem to ensure foolproof security for the prime minister’s rally — his first in the Kashmir Valley after the Peoples Democratic Party and BJP alliance assumed power in the state on March 1.

“Dozens of CCTV cameras, sniffer dogs, mobile surveillance bunkers and drop gates are being put in place to ensure safety for the people coming to attend the November 7 public rally,” a senior police officer told IANS.

In order to prevent the separatist leaders from disrupting Modi’s rally, the authorities have placed over 30 separatist leaders and activists under house arrest in Srinagar.

Police have also been taking some known stone-throwers into preventive custody to ensure peace in Srinagar city during the prime minister’s rally.

While Geelani continues to remain under house arrest in his uptown Hyderpora residence, Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Nayeem Khan, Showkat Ahmad Bakshi and others have also been placed under house arrest.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who has been visiting different places in the Kashmir Valley recently, has called upon people to come out in large numbers to attend Modi’s rally.

Sayeed said the prime minister’s November 7 visit would be a turning point in the history of the state.

Both the PDP and the BJP have been holding meetings to ensure a respectable turnout at the rally.

BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Kashmir, held meetings with the chief minister and party leaders two days back to ensure people’s participation in Modi’s rally.

The state government is expecting that the prime minister will announce an all inclusive 90,000 crore economic package for the state that would include relief for the victims of the unprecedented floods in 2014.

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