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Indian president arrives on 3-day visit to Indian-controlled Kashmir

English.news.cn   2012-09-26 21:05:12            

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Indian President Pranab Mukherje Wednesday arrived in Indian- controlled Kashmir on a three-day visit, officials said.

Mukherje reached early evening at airport in Srinagar city, the region's summer capital. He was received by region's Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and other top civil and army officials.

"The President of India today arrived in Srinagar," said a government spokesman.

Mukherje will preside over the convocation of University of Kashmir at Srinagar on Thursday.

Authorities have beefed up security apparatus in the city ahead of this high-profile visit.

"Stringent security arrangements have been made to thwart any militant attack around this time in city," said a police official.

A guerrilla war is also going on between militants and the Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989. The gun fighting between militants and Indian army troopers in Indian-controlled Kashmir takes place intermittently.

Separatists in the region have called for a daylong shutdown on Thursday to protest Indian president's visit to the disputed region.

"The shutdown is to show that there is a military occupation in Indian-controlled Kashmir, against which Kashmiris are protesting," said Syed Ali Geelani, a hardline separatist in a statement to press. "By observing shutdown, we want to remind the Indian president about the promises made by Indian leaders to Kashmiris in national and international forums, which are yet to be fulfilled."

The shutdown call has been supported by lawyers and students.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan is claimed by both in full. Since their Independence from British, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir. A strong separatist movement is going on in the region seeking end of New Delhi's rule.

This is Mukherje's first visit to the troubled region since he took office in July.

India's official broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) Wednesday said the president will also take a shikara (boat) ride on world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar city and will do an on spot assessment of federally aided Dal Lake conservation project.

Officials said Mukherje will be returning to New Dehli on Friday.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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