India

India President Pranab Mukherjee visits Kashmir Valley

  • 26 September 2012
  • From the section India
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee saluting
President Pranab Mukherjee's three-day visit to Kashmir will be the first since he took office in July

Security has been tightened in Indian-administered Kashmir ahead of a three-day visit by the Indian president.

Pranab Mukherjee arrives in Srinagar on Wednesday on his first visit to the city since he took office in July.

Students, separatist leaders and lawyers have called for a strike on Thursday to protest against alleged atrocities by the Indian armed forces.

Thousands have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir since a revolt against Indian rule began in 1989.

During his visit Mr Mukherjee will attend the convocation of Kashmir's oldest university in Srinagar on Thursday and take a boat ride on the famous Dal Lake.

Student unions have protested against the president's visit to the university, saying they do not want to "welcome the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces who have killed our people without any accountability", according to a post by a student union member.

The governor has asked the vice chancellor of Kashmir University to make sure that no student or scholar disrespects India's national anthem that will be played when the president arrives in the convocation hall.

"We have been embarrassed several times in the past when the students did not stand up to honour the national anthem. Recently the vice president was here and the same happened," a top university official told the BBC.

Snipers have been deployed on all the high-rise buildings around the university to prevent any untoward incident while Mr Mukherjee is on the campus, officials say.

Police sources said the authorities might also jam internet and mobile phone services to ensure an "incident-free event".

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