Modi flexes muscles in Kashmir to woo India's Hindu voters

Shortly before India's elections began in April, New Delhi banned civilian traffic on the only major highway connecting the heart of disputed Kashmir with the rest of the country.

The government cited unspecified security threats for the twice weekly ban, but the move is indicative of the approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken to the disputed Himalayan region since taking power in 2014.

Gone are the carrot-and-stick methods of previous governments that saw at least attempting to win hearts and minds in the Muslim-majority region. Modi's government instead has given the military carte-blanche to counter resistance to Indian rule.

While unpopular in Kashmir, the campaign has resonated in much of the country, where few issues reach as broad a consensus as that Kashmir must remain a part of India.