India boosts security for G20 meeting in held Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Security has been stepped up in India-held Jammu and Kashmir by the BJP government amid a surge in attacks ahead of a G20 meeting in the disputed territory.

Srinagar is due to host a tourism working group meeting of G20 members on May 22-24, part of a series of meetings before a G20 summit scheduled to be held in New Delhi in September.

Srinagar has been at the center of an uprising by Kashmiri fighters against Indian occupation since 1989. Tens of thousands of people have been killed although the violence has been reduced in recent years.

Indian officials said they fear Kashmiri fighters could try to promote their cause with an attack before or during the G20 meeting. “The timing of attacks is worrisome as they are planned just before the G20 meeting,” said an Indian army officer requesting anonymity.

Military and police officers said they had intelligence information that Kas­hmiris might target a military-run school in Jammu and take students hostage.

In response, all such schools had been shut and classes moved online until after the G20 meeting, they said.

Security agencies are not taking any chances in Srinagar, officers said.

Vijay Kumar, chief of police in the Kashmir Valley, said that commandos had been deployed in the city and members of a counter-terrorism force would be stationed in various places.