Valley shuts in response to separatists' call
In response to the strike call given by separatists, the Kashmir Valley observed a complete shutdown on Sunday on the occasion of 65th Republic day.
Like previous years shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic remained off the roads amidst unprecedented security arrangements. People preferred to stay indoors for the day to avoid the trouble of frisking.
Eyewitnesses said police and para-military Central Police Force (CRPF) men guarded roads while the armoured vehicles were stationed at sensitive points across Srinagar City.
Security was also heightened around Bakshi Stadium, the main venue of the Republic Day function, and adjoining areas to thwart any possible militant attack.
Reports said policemen with automatic rifles were positioned on the high-rise buildings to maintain a tight vigil. As part of security measures, the flag cars of the top officials and VIPs were checked before being allowed to enter inside the stadium.
No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state on Sunday, police officers said.
“The Republic Day celebrations passed off peacefully across the state,” a police officer told Deccan Herald.
The state had been put on high alert following militant threats and unprecedented security measures had been put in place to “thwart any possible militant attack.”
Meanwhile, mobile phones across Kashmir Valley fell silent from 9 am till noon as service providers switched off the links following instructions from the security agencies as part of precautionary measures on Republic Day.
“Mobile phone and portable Internet services were shut down from 9 am till noon to ensure that no electronically controlled remote control devices were operated by militants,” an official said.
The official further added that it was part of the standard security drill.
Mobile phone and portable Internet services remain shut on Republic Day and Independence Day after militants used a mobile phone to trigger a bomb blast outside Bakshi Stadium in 2005.
Pak troops violate ceasefire in Kashmir
In the first ceasefire violation of this year in Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Pakistan troops on Sunday resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC), DHNS reports from Srinagar.
General Officer Commanding of Baramulla based 19 Infantry Division Major General Anil Chauhan told reporters that Pakistani side resorted to unprovoked firing around 6:15 am on Sunday. “They fired three RPG rounds and small arms on to the Kaman post in Uri sector on the Indian side,” he said. He said the aim was apparently to disrupt the peace and tranquility. “Actually, it (the scene of firing) is adjacent to where the Pakistani posts are. So, it could be speculated that elements inimical to the interests of welfare of people, rather I would say cross-LoC trade or for maintenance of peace and tranquility along LoC (opened the firing).”