Kalam arrived in the provincial capital of Srinagar even as Indian security officials said four Kashmiri fighters, an Indian soldier and another civilian suspected to be a police informer died in separate incidents of violence.

The Kashmiri fighters and the Indian soldier were killed in a fierce gun battle triggered by an army search operation in the southern Anantnag district.

The violence however did not dampen the Indian president’s visit. He first visited the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh region, before reaching Srinagar.

“He was accorded a ceremonial welcome on his arrival and people are happy to see him here,” Tsering Samphel, the president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association said.

Kalam's trip to Srinagar is the first by an Indian president since 1997.

Kashmir has been raked by violence with over a dozen Kashmiri groups fighting against Indian rule since 1989.