R-Day function held amid tight security in Kashmir

Amid tight security, R-Day functions in Kashmir passed off peacefully with unfurling of the tricolour and cultural programmes at various places.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asghar Samoon took the salute at the march past at Bakshi Stadium here, where the main function in the Valley was held.

It was for the second time in as many years that a civilian administrator, and not a minister of the state government, presided over the function at Bakshi Stadium due to Governor’s Rule in the state.

A police officer said adequate security arrangements were put in place to thwart any designs of militants to disrupt the function.

Heightened security arrangements were put in place across the Valley in view of the attack on the Pathankot airbase in Punjab on January 2.

Deputy Commissioners of respective districts presided over the functions. Besides march past by contingents of police, police, CRPF, BSF and school children, cultural programmes were performed at the functions at several places in the Valley.

According to officials, Bandipora in north Kashmir witnessed the largest gathering as 10,000 people turned up for the function followed by Srinagar where 7,000 people were present.

A strike was called by separatist groups asking the people to observe it as a ‘black day’.

There were reports of shutdown being observed from major towns in the Valley, officials said.

Mobile internet services were snapped today as a precautionary measure at around 8 AM.

However, mobile phone operations were not suspended as was done on Aug 15 last year.

Unlike earlier, authorities had allowed uninterrupted mobile services on Republic Day last year.

Police and paramilitary personnel had been deployed in strength across the city and other vulnerable areas in the Valley, a police officer said.

Sharp shooters were deployed on high rise buildings around Bakshi stadium, where Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asghar Samoon unfurled the national flag and took salute at the march past, he said.

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