Normal life was affected in Kashmir due to a strike called by separatist groups today, even as the authorities imposed restrictions in some parts of the city in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden election rally in the valley.
The authorities have sealed off the two-km radius around Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, the venue of the rally and restricted public movement, police officials said.
They said only security forces’ vehicles were allowed to ply towards the venue while people were allowed to foot the distance after thorough frisking.
Separatist groups including all the factions of Hurriyat Conference have called for a general strike to protest the Prime Minister’s visit to the valley where assembly polls are going on.
Shops, offices, business establishments and educational institutions remained shut while attendance was affected in government offices and banks.
Public transport was off the roads across the valley, while private cars, auto-rickshaws and cabs were seen plying at some places, the officials said.
A thick security blanket has been thrown around the city for the Prime Minister’s visit as helicopters were deployed for surveillance over the stadium and adjoining areas.
The security forces, including police and paramilitary CRPF have been deployed in strength across the Srinagar city.
Concertina wires have been laid at several intersections in the city’s Dalgate, Sonawar, Gupkar Road and TRC crossing to block the movement of vehicles and people towards the cricket stadium.
A posse of policemen and CRPF has been deployed at each intersection to ensure that the security drill is followed in letter and spirit.
In other parts of the city, motor vehicle checking points have been established by security forces for checking the vehicles moving around.
Barricades have also been set up at the entry points to the city to ensure that militants are not able to sneak in to carry out any act of sabotage.
Security personnel have taken positions at vantage points on the buildings around the venue of the Prime Minister’s rally as part of area domination exercise.
Modi will also visit the Army’s Badami Bagh headquarters to pay tributes to the soldiers killed in deadly militant attack in Uri last Friday.