Indian security forces have detained nearly 400 Kashmiri separatists over the past week to prevent them marching in protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit on Saturday, police said, raising tension Friday in the disputed territory, where authorities have dramatically tightened security.
Indian forces erected steel barricades and laid razor wire on roads and ordered residents to stay indoors in old parts of Srinagar, the largest city in the region. The city's main mosque was cordoned off and Friday prayers were barred.
Modi is making his first trip this year to Kashmir where violence continues, although not to the level of the 1990s when armed revolt against Indian rule erupted. Modi is to inaugurate a power project and offer a financial aid package a year after Kashmir was devastated by massive floods.
Earlier, separatist leaders had called for a protest Friday at the mosque to honor tens of thousands of Muslims they say were killed in riots with Hindus in 1947. Separatists have also planned a rally Saturday near the site of a public meeting by Modi in Srinagar.
"Our rally will be a message to India to read the writing on the wall that Kashmiris are against Indian occupation," said Ayaz Akbar, a spokesman for the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella group of separatist political and religious parties.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which both claim the entire territory.
Many shops were closed in Srinagar and traffic was disrupted as police checked vehicles entering the city. Authorities canceled university and college exams scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
Preventive arrests and curfews are fairly common in Indian-controlled Kashmir, particularly ahead of important events that authorities fear could be targeted by rebels or used by activists to stage protests against Indian rule.
Nuclear powers India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir.
India has long accused Pakistan of pushing separatist Muslim fighters into India's part of Kashmir to foment revolt in the disputed Muslim-majority region. Pakistan denies those accusations. Kashmiris have in addition been protesting about the lack of federal government aid more than a year after the worst flooding in over a century devastated half a million homes.
A number of rebel groups have operated in the region since an insurgency erupted in 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the fighting and the ensuing crackdown by Indian forces.