Srinagar(AP): Thousands of government forces have fanned out across the Indian portion of Kashmir to provide a security shield for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to make a campaign speech in the region for local elections, police said Sunday.
Authorities are taking extra precautions following daring daylong insurgent attacks Friday on an army camp and other targets left 21 people dead, including six attackers, said K. Rajendra, the top police officer in Jammu-Kashmir state.
Sharpshooters have been posted on rooftops in the main city of Srinagar, where Modi is scheduled to speak at an election rally in a sports stadium. Security forces also have put steel barricades on the roads and are checking vehicles and frisking commuters and pedestrians.
“Prime ministers are generally high-value targets, so we are not taking a chance,” Rajendra said.
Rebel groups in Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and an Indian military crackdown that has largely suppressed rebel activity.
There has been a flurry of attacks recently in the Indian portion of Kashmir, which is holding elections staggered over five days to elect a regional legislature. Modi has visited the region twice in the last month.