Srinagar: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrived in Srinagar this afternoon, a day after a militant strike in the city killed eight soldiers and left 13 others injured.
As soon as he landed in Srinagar, Dr Singh visited the Army's Base Hospital and met the injured soldiers. Earlier in the day, while addressing a rally after inaugurating a hydel power project in Kishtwar, the PM paid tribute to the eight jawans who died in the attack and said terror groups will not be allowed to succeed in "their nefarious designs."
A thick blanket of security for the VIP visit has left hundreds of commuters in Srinagar stuck in large delays.
Yesterday, a pair of militants opened fire on a convoy of Army vehicles; central intelligence agencies say the soldiers were unarmed because they had just returned from vacation. Eight were killed and 13 injured. The Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack, though intelligence agencies believe it was organized by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba. Barricades have been put up all across Srinagar, where militants had also struck on the weekend, killing two policemen. The Army is conducting foot patrols in some areas.
Tomorrow, Dr Singh and Mrs Gandhi will launch a train service between Qazigund in Kashmir and Banihal in Jammu, which will provide an all-weather surface link to the Valley, which often gets cut off from rest of the country in the winter due to heavy snowfall.