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What is the significance of Modi’s visit to Kashmir?

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first official visit to Kashmir’s main city since the region lost its semi-autonomy in 2019. Addressing a crowd in Srinagar, Modi highlighted development projects and emphasized the region’s progress since the constitutional changes. The decision to revoke Article 370, which granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, was met with mixed reactions, with Modi’s government claiming it brought peace and development while critics argue it led to a decrease in civil liberties.

The visit is seen as part of Modi’s campaign ahead of the upcoming national elections. Security measures were heightened in Srinagar, with armed forces deployed and checkpoints set up across the city. Schools were closed, and government workers were reportedly compelled to attend the rally. Critics like former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti raised concerns about the coercion of attendees. Modi’s visit aims to showcase development initiatives and shift the narrative around Kashmir post-2019 change.

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