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Kashmir on high alert; Geelani calls for shutdown

November 06, 2010 16:24 IST

Security forces are on high alert in Jammu and Kashmir, to maintain law and order in the troubled state in view of United States President Barack Obama's three-day visit to India.

A senior police officer said tight security measures have been put in place across the state. Incidentally, 35 Sikhs were gunned down in south Kashmir's Chattisinghpora village in March, 2000 when then US President Bill Clinton was visiting the country.

The officer said 'aggressive patrolling' coupled with heavy deployment of security forces have been ordered in villages with sizeable minority populations in Kashmir, 'to instill confidence' among the Sikhs and Hindus who continue to live here.

Army, paramilitary and police personnel have been deployed to ensure the security of the minority community members in the Valley, said the official.

"The local police can, at any time, seek immediate assistance from other security agencies for patrolling a particular area to ensure no untoward incident takes place," the officer said.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Valley observed a complete shutdown on the first day of the three-day strike call given by hard-line separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Shops remained shut and public transport stayed off the roads.

Geelani, who has been spearheading the five- month long unrest in Kashmir that has claimed 111 lives and left hundreds others wounded, has asked locals to observe 'civil curfew' for three days.

The three day strike call is part of Geelani's 'Quit Kashmir campaign'. He has been issuing weekly protest calendars while he continues to remain under house arrest.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
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