SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Muslim majority areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir Sunday observed complete shutdown to protest Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the restive region.
The Indian prime minister is scheduled to visit Jammu division to inaugurate country's longest road tunnel , Chenani-Nashri tunnel, built on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
The call for shutdown was jointly given by separatist groups opposing New Delhi's rule in the region.
"Rhetoric about development or construction of tunnels and roads is futile and won't succeed to lure us. We have presented unparalleled sacrifice and nourished the movement with pious blood," reads a joint statement issued by separatist groups, urging locals for strike.
"We do not harbor any animosity towards the Indian prime minister but it is frightening and painful that instead of taking notice of the genocide in the state, he is awarding and rewarding the assassins."
Shops and businesses remained closed in the wake of the shutdown. Public transport was also off roads.
Authorities, fearing clashes and street protests, deployed police and paramilitary in full-strength as a precautionary measure in sensitive areas.
The all weather 9.2 km long tunnel built on Srinagar- Jammu highway will reduce the distance on the 294-km stretch by around 41 km.
The highway connects Muslim majority areas of the region to Jammu city and from there to mainland India.
Meanwhile, a pro-India independent legislator Abdul Rashid Sheikh along with his supporters staged a anti-Modi protest in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Sheikh and his activists shouted "Go Modi go back" and "we want right to self determination" slogans inside a closed market in the city center.
"We are staging protests against Narendra Modi who is preparing to make India a Hindu state. We don't need any package but we just need right to self-determination as per UN resolution (on Kashmir)," Rashid told media.