Srinagar, Aug. 27: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s presence here for the two-day meeting of the inter-state council has angered many Kashmiris who were outraged by the riots that followed the Godhra massacre.
There were sporadic demonstrations in Srinagar against Modi’s arrival with the overwhelming feeling in Srinagar being that chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed will not be forgiven for allowing his Gujarat counterpart to come to the city.
Although Modi is not here at the invitation of the state government, hardliners say that Mufti should have asked the Centre to make sure he did not set foot in the state.
“He is the man responsible for allowing the carnage in Gujarat. Why has he been allowed to come here and be treated as an honoured guest'” asked Amjad Ali, who was one of those demonstrating against Modi’s arrival.
The Gujarat chief minister has been provided high security by the state government for fear that he could be targeted by militants to avenge the riot deaths.
A state official who did not want to be named said: “Police are worried about Modi’s security, perhaps even more than for the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has his own security and is liked in the Valley. But Modi is hated here and we want to make sure these two days pass safely.”
Modi might be a security nightmare but, among local reporters, he certainly was the most sought-after chief minister. As he got off his car to walk to the venue of the meeting, he was surprised to see journalists gesticulating for him to stop.
He flashed a broad grin and waved before attempting to walk towards them, but was stopped by security guards who ushered him into the auditorium.