PM arrives in Srinagar to discuss peace initiative

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived Monday in this summer capital of J&K on a two-day visit.

Srinagar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived Monday in this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit.

He was accompanied by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and a host of senior officials.

They include TKA. Nair, principal secretary to the prime minister, Shivshankar Menon, the national security advisor, and Harish Khare, media advisor to Manmohan Singh.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his father and central minister Farooq Abdullah received the Prime Minister at the Srinagar airport.

Police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were deployed in strength to thwart violence in five police station areas of the old city. In addition to the deployment of anti-riot police and paramilitary personnel, a three-tier security is in place for the two-day visit.

"There is no restriction on movement of civilians. Preventive measures have been taken to ensure safety of civilian life and property," a senior police officer said.

The Prime Minister will address the convocation of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST). He is also scheduled to meet delegations of mainstream political parties in the evening.

All roads leading to the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex, where the Prime Minister will address the convocation, have been sealed and no pedestrian or vehicular movement is allowed on these roads except those holding special passes issued by the police.

All the Mughal gardens, including Nishat, Shalimar and Chasma Shahi, have been closed for two days as they are located close to the venue for functions to be attended by Manmohan Singh.

Senior police and intelligence officials here ejected as "alarmist" media reports that separatist guerrillas had planned suicide attacks in Srinagar.

"We do not have any such reports and those provided to us by other agencies do not appear to be authentic," a police official told a news agency here.

"There is a standing operating procedure which is followed regarding the security provided to the Prime Minister of the country and that procedure is being strictly followed."

Normal life was, however, was adversely affected in Srinagar city because of the protest shutdown called by separatists against Manmohan Singh`s visit.

The shutdown has been called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani against the visit of the prime minister, who arrives here in the afternoon.

Markets remained shut as public transport, schools and other business establishments also remained closed in the city.

IANS

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