SRINAGAR: Massive celebrations including unfurling tricolours, parades and cultural programmes were held in fortified venues in the Valley on Sunday to mark India’s 75thIndependence Day. But the scenes outside the venues were marked with empty roads and barricaded roads manned by heightened presence of government forces.
In Srinagar and elsewhere, roads were bereft of any activity as private and public transport was off the roads, business establishments were shut and there was no movement of people. This was spontaneous too as there was no call for the shutdown call by any political party.
Eyewitness said that even as police ordered all the shopkeepers to remain open their shops and other business units in north Kashmir, a complete shutdown was observed in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan, Rafiabad, Handwara, Kupwara and Bandipora towns. Public traffic also remained unavailable.
There was no bar on mobile and internet this year marking a departure from previous practice of suspending cellular services on the occasion. “There is neither internet shutdown nor #restrictions on the eve of the IndependenceDay,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.
The main function was held at SK Cricket Stadium Srinagar, where LG Manoj Sinha unfurled the tricolour. At other districts, the biggest was held at the district headquarters by the DDC Chairpersons. Many Government schools have also celebrated the day by unfurling the tricolour and singing the national anthem amid the presence of students. This was done after the directive from the government.
As many as 413157 persons from 10810 institutions participated in Independence Day celebrations across ten districts of Kashmir today. The participants include Schools, Colleges, Panchayat institutions, youth clubs, Government offices, private schools and other institutions.
The functions were held successfully in all districts with participants joining main functions, flag hoisting, cultural programmes, national anthem competitions and other related events with much fervour and gaiety during the Independence Day celebrations. Functions were held at district headquarters, Sub- Divisional offices, Tehsil headquarters, Block level offices, schools, rent institutions and other places across Kashmir Valley.
The flag was also unfurled at 2,182 panchayat offices in Kashmir. All these functions were held under the tight security in which the drones were put to use. Cultural Programmes, parades and other traditional activities were also on display in the functions post the flag hoisting.