Republic Day functions peaceful in Kashmir valley

Srinagar: The Republic Day functions in the Kashmir Valley passed off peacefully today, with Rural Development Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar saying the gun had only caused destruction.

Taking salute at the main parade in the summer capital Srinagar, Sagar said peace was a national agenda which would be pursued notwithstanding “recent provocative developments”.

Contingents of police, paramilitary forces and the army marched before the podium inside the highly-secured Bakshi Stadium in the city which had been sealed days ahead of the function.

Entry into the stadium was regulated by security personnel using metal detectors. They also frisked people entering the stadium.

No untoward incident was reported anywhere in the Kashmir Valley where Republic Day parades were held at all district headquarters and important state and central installations.

Despite sub-zero temperatures, there was visible enthusiasm and patriotic fervor in Leh and Kargil towns of Ladakh region.

Separatists called for a protest shutdown Saturday in the Kashmir Valley.

Ahead of Republic Day parades in Srinagar and elsewhere, mobile phone services were suspended across the Kashmir Valley as part of a security drill.

Different service providers did not issue any alert to subscribers before suspending their services.

Contacted on landline phones, people in Srinagar, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Badgam, Baramulla, Sopore and other towns said mobile phones had stopped working since Saturday morning.

Last year too mobile phone services were withdrawn in the valley Jan 26 and Aug 15.

In the past, separatist guerrillas triggered improved explosive devices using mobile telephones.

IANS

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