After flagging off the train linking Katra--the base camp for pilgrims headed to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine nestled in the Trikuta hills, Modi flew to Srinagar to address a Sainik Sammelan and a security review meeting at the Badami Bagh cantonment headquarters of Indian Army’s 15th corps.

He is also scheduled to inaugurate a 240 megawatt NHPC owned hydro-power project in Uri border town before concluding his day's visit to the state.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will skip the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister.

The Chief Minister earlier in the day thanked Modi for inaugurating the railway track from Udhampur to Katra and expressed hope that the state’s demand for extension of the railway link to various areas would be accommodated for the larger economic and developmental interests of the state.

Modi’s visit to J&K

The Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir is seen as a tough political call as it comes in the wake of a raging row over a demand for revoking Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to the state.

During the function at Katra, the Prime Minister refrained from touching upon any political issue facing the state.

Modi is perhaps the country’s first Prime Minister, who is politically opposed by both the separatists and the National Conference (NC).
Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmad Shah, have called for a shutdown on Friday to protest against the Prime Minister’svisit.

Geelani had earlier called for ‘peaceful protests’ but later changed his appeal to a complete shutdown across the Kashmir Valley. He said the strike was not against Modi as a person but against the visit of ‘the Prime Minister of a country that has subjugated Kashmiris’.

In a statement made in Ramban district of Jammu region on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said the Kashmir problem is not one that can be resolved through economic packages. He even cautioned those trying to rake up a controversy over the abrogation of Article 370 that gives special status to the state.

 

READ MORE: Modi opens Katra rail link, vows to fulfill Vajpayee’s dream

JPN/Agencies

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