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India cracks down on Kashmiris ahead of Modi visit

SIRINAGAR: Indian security forces have detained nearly 400 Kashmiris to prevent them marching in protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on Saturday, police said, raising tension in the disputed territory. Nuclear powers India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir. Kashmiris have been protesting about the lack of...

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 6, 2015 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 6, 2015 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

SIRINAGAR: Indian security forces have detained nearly 400 Kashmiris to prevent them marching in protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit on Saturday, police said, raising tension in the disputed territory.

Nuclear powers India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir.

Kashmiris have been protesting about the lack of federal government aid more than a year after the worst flooding in over a century devastated half a million homes.

Police rounded up top Huryat leaders after Syed Ali Shah Geelani called for a million people to walk to the centre of summer capital, Srinagar, near a stadium where Modi will address a rally on Saturday.

"Our rally will be a message to India to read the writing on the wall that Kashmiris are against Indian occupation," said Ayaz Akbar, a spokesman for the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

Over the past week, 389 people have been taken into preventive custody, an officer said. Soldiers patrolled the streets of Srinagar on Friday while police set up barriers around the city, inspecting vehicles. Cellphones will be blocked during Modi's visit, the Indian army said.

Modi, whose party shares power in the Jammu and Kashmir region, is expected to unveil an economic package to help the state recover from the floods. But a state government minister said he expected the Indian leader to also reach out to the disaffected youth.

"The PM's visit can't be described in economic terms alone," said Education Minister Naeem Akhtar. "It is true that Kashmir needs economic impetus but it is equally true that political engagement especially with youth is essential."-Reuters

 
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