Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday took separatist leader Muhammad Yasin Malik into preventive custody ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the Valley beginning on Saturday.
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an alliance of key separatist leaders including Malik, has asked the people to march on Lal Chowk, the historic square in summer capital Srinagar, on Saturday to register their protest against the Prime Minister’s visit and “show the world what we the people of the Jammu and Kashmir stand for”.
It has also called for peaceful protests on May 18 to mourn and protest the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and a one-day shutdown on May 21 to commemorate the “martyrdom” of separatist leader Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone.
Both of them were gunned down by militants on May 21 in 1990 and 2002, respectively.
The Prime Minister during his visit will lay the foundation stone of Rs 939.41 crore semi-ring road project in Srinagar and also inaugurate 330-MW hydroelectric project on Kishan Ganga River in the northern district of Bandipore on May 19.
Later during the day, he will fly to Leh to take part in the 100th birthday celebrations of Ladakh’s Buddhist spiritual leader Kushak Bakula.
On May 20, he will address the sixth convocation of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in winter capital Jammu.
Elaborate security arrangements are being made for the Prime Minister’s visit with additional police and paramilitary forces being deployed across the Valley particularly in Srinagar, official sources said.
Special Protection Group (SPG) is taking over the venues ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, the sources said.
The separatist leaders and prominent activists are being placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody whereas the authorities are also contemplating to impose restrictions on parts of Srinagar on Saturday to prevent protests.
Meanwhile, independent MLA and leader of Awami Itehad Party (AIP) Engineer Rashid on Thursday while addressing a press conference here said that his party will greet the Prime Minister with black flags “so as to make world community realize that India is not serious and sincere in resolving the issue of Kashmir”.
He also called for observing a protest shutdown in the Valley on May 19.