Peaceful Republic Day In Kashmir Under Tight Security

Mobile phone and internet services were suspended ahead of the day's programmes.

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Peaceful Republic Day In Kashmir Under Tight Security

Kashmir observed Republic Day events under tight security vigil.

Srinagar:  Thousands of security personnel were deployed in Srinagar and other district headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure a peaceful Republic Day amid a strike called by separatists. All programmes in the valley, including the main event in Srinagar, passed off peacefully.

"The Republic Day functions at all district headquarters passed off peacefully," a senior police officer said.

In the wake of a strike called by separatist groups, there was a complete clampdown in Kashmir. The separatists asked people observe January 26 as "Black Day", prompting security forces to enforce curfew-like restrictions to prevent any protests.

Mobile phone and internet services were suspended ahead of the day's programmes. While blocking internet services has become routine on Republic Day, mobile phone services were snapped in all the 10 districts of Kashmir Valley after a long time to prevent security incidents.

Earlier, the police had issued an advisory to all security formations, warning about a possible suicide attack by "a non-Kashmir girl".

A senior officer, however, said the advisory was "a knee-jerk reaction" to unsubstantiated reports that the girl had joined suicide squad of terrorist groups in the valley.

The main official function was held at Srinagar's Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, where Revenue Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri presided over the event.

All roads leading to the stadium were sealed after intelligence inputs suggested the possibility that terrorists or other "anti-national" elements may try to disrupt the event, officials said.

Security forces had laid down a multi-layer cordon around the stadium. The stadium hosted the parade for the first time as the regular venue, Bakhshi stadium, is being renovated.

Multiple checkpoints had been set up near the stadium.

The function at the stadium was attended mostly by state government officials and a few political workers.

Invitations were not extended to the general public due to a shortage of space at the makeshift venue, officials said.

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Various wings of police and school children participated in the parade. The students presented a colourful programme.

(With inputs from PTI)

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