On Republic Day, Kashmir remains shut

On Republic Day, Kashmir remains shut

In response to the strike call given by separatists, the Valley observed a complete shutdown on Friday, the 69th Republic Day.

 Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic remained off the roads amidst unprecedented security arrangements across Kashmir, reports said.

People preferred to stay indoors for the day to avoid the trouble of frisking.

Like previous years, separatists had called for a shutdown across the Valley to attract international attention to the Kashmir issue.

The main flag hoisting function and ceremonial parade were held at the Maulana Azad stadium in Jammu city where Governor N.N. Vohra unfurled the tri-colour and took the salute at an impressive parade.

In Srinagar city, the main function was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium where Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rehman Veeri hoisted the tri-colour and took the salute at the parade.

This year the venue of Republic Day function had been shifted from Bakshi Stadium to SK Cricket Stadium.

Security was heightened around the Cricket Stadium and adjoining areas to thwart any possible militant attack.

Reports said policemen with automatic rifles were positioned on high-rise buildings to maintain a tight vigil.

Pertinently, 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."

Suicide bomber

Police claimed to have arrested a suspected woman suicide bomber, who had entered the Valley a few days back for a suicide bombing on January 26."

Additional Director General of Police Muneer Khan, who serves as the IGP Kashmir, told reporters on the sidelines of R-day function in Srinagar that they have "fortunately" apprehended the suspected woman late last night.

"We will be talking to her, talking to our sister agencies, covering every other lead to know what the facts are. Only after proper investigation we will be able to come to any conclusion," he said.

Meanwhile, mobile phones across the Valley fell silent from Thursday night till Friday afternoon as service providers switched off the links following instructions from security agencies as part of precautionary measures on Republic Day.

These services remain shut on Republic Day and Independence Day after militants, in 2005, had used a mobile phone to trigger a bomb blast outside Bakshi Stadium.

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