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Internet suspended, schools closed for Narendra Modi's J&K visit

All set A security man guards the Dal Lake in Srinagar on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Modi is set to inaugurate work on the Zojila tunnel and several other infrastructure projects. NISSAR AHMAD The Hindu   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

High-speed mobile telephony were suspended, educational institutes closed and restrictions imposed in parts of the Valley ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

The authorities have sounded a red alert in the entire State. All routes leading to the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar, the venue where Mr. Modi will inaugurate development projects, have been sealed. Three-tier security arrangements have been put in place.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan, who chaired a meeting on Friday evening, decided to close down all educational institutes and impose restrictions in Srinagar's old city "as a precautionary measure".

Separatists have called for a shutdown and demanded to be allowed to hold a rally during the Prime Minister's visit. "The problem in Kashmir is not related to roads, inaugurating of tunnels, power projects or jobs. It's a dispute directly linked to the political future of tens of millions of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and it needs to be resolved as per the will and aspirations of these people," said the Mirwaiz.

He said people of Kashmir should be given a chance to say their “mann ki baat” to Mr. Modi peacefully at Lal Chowk Srinagar on Saturday. "People of Kashmir want the fulfillment of the promise made by the predecessors of PM Modi not only in Lal Chowk but in the Indian parliament," he added.

Meanwhile, police sources said all separatist leaders will either be arrested or detained in their houses on the occasion.

The Prime Minister's visit also comes in the backdrop of the Centre's announcement to halt operations during the month of Ramzan.

Modi's agenda

PM Modi is scheduled to attend the commencement of work on Zojila Tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway at Leh first. The 14-km long Zojila tunnel will be India’s longest road tunnel and Asia’s longest bi-directional tunnel. It will provide all- weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and reduce travel time from the present 3.5 hours to just 15 minutes.

He will also lay the foundation stone for Srinagar Ring Road and Jammu Ring Road at separate events at SKICC, Srinagar and at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium in Jammu the same day.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari will also be present at the events.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:50:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/internet-suspended-schools-closed-for-narendra-modis-jk-visit/article23933307.ece

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