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J&K police on high alert ahead of Bush visit
February 28, 2006 10:11 IST
Last Updated: February 28, 2006 23:40 IST
Ahead of US President George W Bush's visit to India, security has been beefed up in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in minority-dominated villages.
Six years ago, on the eve of then American President Bill Clinton's trip in March 2000, 35 Sikhs were killed in the state.
Police and security forces have been put on maximum alert in Sikh and Hindu-dominated villages in the state to ensure that no such incident occurs.
All precautions are being taken to prevent any strike on the minorities or any other people in the state, sources said.
Thirty-five Sikhs were massacred at Chittisinghpora in Anantnag district in south Kashmir hours before Clinton landed in New Delhi on March 21, 2000.
The killing gave birth to many controversies leading to the suspension of a senior police officer and institution of an inquiry report, which is still to be made public. It led to questions being asked about the killers and their motives, given the timing of the carnage.
Conscious of this, the authorities are leaving nothing to chance and have asked the police, especially in the 67 villages of the Kashmir valley, to provide extra security ahead of Bush's visit, the sources said.
The authorities are also taking precautions against the possibility of headline grabbing strikes by militants in other parts of the state. This has resulted in stepped up security in Jammu and Srinagar cities.
The police in Srinagar's Mahnoornagar area has been directed to provide extra security cover to Sikhs living in the area. Seven Sikhs were killed there on February 3, 2001.
Similar security has been enforced at Nadimarg in Anantnag where 24 Hindus were killed on March 13/14, 2003.
The massacre of minorities started in 1996. Seven Kashmiri Pandits were killed on March 20, 1996 at Sangrampura in Budgam, followed by 25 Pandits at Wandhama-Ganderbal in Srinagar on Republic Day 1997.