Civilian movement curbed as J&K steps up security for Amit Shah’s visit

Establishment puts up bullet-proof mobile bunkers, places unofficial ban on two-wheelers and makes numerous detentions

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in the Kashmir Valley from Saturday to Monday, in his first visit to the region since the abrogation of Article 370. File photo

The three-day Srinagar visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah has led to strong beefing up of security in the region, which has witnessed targeting killings of 11 civilians — mostly migrants — in recent weeks. Shah, who arrived on Saturday, is leaving on Monday. This is his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, in August 2019.

The three-tier security system put in place involves city-wide bullet-proof mobile bunkers, sharpshooters on building tops, an unofficial ban on two-wheelers and numerous detentions, said an Indian Express report. This marks one of the most stringent security protocol in recent years, it added.

Detentions under PSA

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About 900 people from across Kashmir have been detained under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA). These include people allegedly identified as stone-pelters, kin of militants and those working over the ground for militant groups, said the report. Over 25 detainees have been moved to the Agra jail. Detention under PSA allows the establishment to detain them without trial for about a year.

A Times of India report said local police has arranged for aerial surveillance over areas inhabited by minorities in Srinagar and Lal Chowk, the city centre. Around 50 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) teams are deployed in J&K for the Home Minister’s visit.

Also read: Amit Shah takes stock of anti-terror ops, radicalisation in J&K on Day 1 of visit

Shah is scheduled to chair an event at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in Srinagar. The roads leading to this venue and the Raj Bhawan have been sealed for civilians.

Two-wheelers off roads

Two-wheeler riders found themselves not allowed on Srinagar roads. Many of the vehicles were impounded despite necessary documents being furnished, said media reports. Due to this, online delivery companies could not reach their products to customers on time.

On Sunday, Shah was slated to participate in various events at IIT-Jammu. On Saturday, he reviewed the situation in the Valley with security agencies. Lt. Gov Manoj Sinha was also present in the meeting.

Following the abrogation of Article 370, terrorism has ended J&K, and stone pelting has stopped, said the Home Minister. The Centre would deal with an iron hand those who sought to disrupt peace in the region, he added.

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