SRINAGAR: The security apparatus of the Jammu and Kashmir government has been put on high-alert as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi much-hyped visit on November 7 to the State is drawing close.
In a preemptive strike to thwart the proposed Million March announced by the octogenarian separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the visit, the government has launched a crackdown on separatists camp taking dozens of them into custody. In addition, several online pages that encourage the march have been blocked.
With hundreds of netizens advocating for Geelani’s march on the social networking site Facebook etc, cyber police have blocked over 200 Facebook pages since the past two days.
These pages were spreading messages for the march making it necessary for the police to block them, said a police officer. Police have identified a number of “internet warriors” and they would be taken to task.
The march to which other separatist leaders have pledged their support, is being taken as serious prompting the arrest of the leaders including the JKLF chairperson Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Partys Shabir Ahmad Shah and those of the hardline Hurriyat Conference, including Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and spokesperson Ayaz Akbar.
Others like Javeed Mir of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat have been put under house arrest.
Geelani, who is already under house arrest, has called for a Srinagar Million March to counter Modis scheduled address in the city. Geelanis rally will be held in the Tourist Reception Centre ground.
Calling the proposed rally Kashmirs referendum against India, Hurriyat (G) had challenged the government to allow both the rallies.
He said in spite of assuring police and the civil authorities that the million man march will not create any law and order problem and it will not hamper Modi’s rally, the authorities have clamped crackdown on Hurriyat Conference and other organizations. He described it as “state terrorism.”
The all-women organisation Dukhtaran-e-Millat, which is also supporting the march, has urged transporters in the Valley not to provide transport facilities for those attending the PMs rally.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday slammed the government over detentions saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
Taking strong exception of cyber operation, opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said Mufti Sayeed government was out to break all records of “intolerance and authoritarianism.”
The move exposes the complete hollowness of Mufti Syed “battle of ideas” slogan, Omar said on the microblog Twitter.
In another tweet, he said: The Pandora’s box of intolerance that has been opened in the last few months will resonate for long years to come & that is very scary.
“Hundreds of youth are being arrested ahead of the PM’s scheduled visit to the Valley while the Hurriyat leadership is being given one moral lecture after another to be more welcoming and receptive of the Prime Minister. There couldn’t be a more tragic end to the ‘battle of ideas’ hoax,” Abdullah said.
Modis itinerary includes a visit to the 450 MW Baglihar hydroelectric project on the Chenab in Chanderkote area of Ramban district. The commissioning of Baglihar II will increase the states power generation to 1,211 MW.
The PM is also scheduled to hold a public rally at Srinagars Sher-i-Kashmir stadium on November 7 where he is expected to announce a massive development package for the state.
The rally, on the eve of the Bihar election results, will also be attended by chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The development package that Modi is set to announce is expected to be worth around Rs 92,000 crore.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.