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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Shun violence, Azad to militants
Srinagar, August 15
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked militants to shun violence and take the path of peace as there was no other way out when the government had kept the doors of dialogue open.
Kashmiri schoolchildren perform on the 60th anniversary of the Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar on Wednesday
Kashmiri schoolchildren perform on the 60th anniversary of the Independence Day celebrations in Srinagar on Wednesday. ó Tribune photo by Mohd Amin War

I-Day celebrated with fervour
Jammu, August 15
Call to boycott Independence Day celebrations given by separatists was generally ignored in Jammu and Kashmir where the day passed off peacefully with people turning up to witness the parade and cultural functions. Srinagar city wore a deserted look due to a shutdown in response to the bandh call but other districts of the valley witnessed enthusiasm.

Celebrations at Rajouri, Poonch
Rajouri, August 15
The 60th Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and fanfare in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


 

EARLIER STORIES



I-Day
Ramban, Kishtwar, Reasi dists celebrate after 17 yrs

Udhampur, August 15
Ignoring militants' threats, the Independence Day was celebrated in mountainous districts of Udhampur, Ramban, Kishtwar, Doda and Reasi. First time after 17 years, the day was celebrated peacefully and thousands of people participated in the functions. Functions were held in remotest areas of Doda district, a stronghold of militants.

Army Depot Fire
COAS announces relief
Srinagar, August 15
The Army chief has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for each civilian who lost his life and Rs 50,000 each for seriously injured in the ammunition depot fire at Khundroo in south Kashmir.

Yearning for peace: Greetings exchanged at international border
Suchetgarh (Jammu), August 15
Border village Suchetgarh didn't sleep last night, as villagers and some members of a civic society with lit candles in hands here greeted neighbours across the international border (IB) fence at midnight hour of August 14 when both India and Pakistan became free 60 years back.

 


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Shun violence, Azad to militants
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 15
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked militants to shun violence and take the path of peace as there was no other way out when the government had kept the doors of dialogue open.

Addressing the Independence Day function at Bakshi Stadium here today, Azad also described as constructive the shift in Pakistanís stand and her realisation dialogue was the only way for a solution to problems. He said India had all along maintained there was no problem that could not be resolved through peaceful means. Azad hoped the desire of people in India and Pakistan for a peaceful and friendly bilateral relationship would soon see the two countries becoming partners in the development of the entire region. He called for capitalising on the improvement in bilateral relations to herald an era of peace in South Asia.

Earlier, Azad unfurled the Tricolour and took the salute at a colourful march past by contingents of paramilitary forces, the police, the NCC and schoolchildren. The function was held under tight security.

Functions at other district headquarters and major towns attended by several ministers and legislators across the Kashmir valley passed off peacefully, amid a complete shutdown called by the separatist organisations on the occasion.

All roads leading to Bakshi Stadium, the venue of main function, were sealed off and only government vehicles and buses carrying political leaders, legislators, officials and police and security personnel were allowed to move into the area.

Azad said the temporary hurdle in the Indo-Pak peace process due to internal situation of the neighbouring country would be soon over and the composite dialogue resumed. The Chief Minister said during the past four years several confidence-building measures, including the opening of cross-LoC roads and exchanges at cultural and intellectual level, taken by the two countries had reduced tensions between India and Pakistan and improved relations. He said the decision to start trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad would promote economic activities and open up markets of Pakistan for Kashmiri handicrafts and fruit.

Azad alluded to initiatives taken by the Centre to address political, economic and social issues in Jammu and Kashmir and said the Prime Minister himself chaired three roundtable conferences that were attended by all political parties of the state. Of the five working groups constituted, four had already submitted recommendations and two meetings had already taken place to work out modalities for implementation.

Azad held importance of the day was further enhanced by the fact this year the Independence Day was being celebrated in the backdrop of the 150th anniversary of the First War of Independence launched in 1857 and the 65th anniversary of the Quit India movement. 

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I-Day celebrated with fervour
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 15
Call to boycott Independence Day celebrations given by separatists was generally ignored in Jammu and Kashmir where the day passed off peacefully with people turning up to witness the parade and cultural functions. Srinagar city wore a deserted look due to a shutdown in response to the bandh call but other districts of the valley witnessed enthusiasm.

A large number of men, women and children turned up at the Parade Ground at Jammu where Mangat Ram Sharma, health minister, took the salute and unfurled the national flag. A cultural show was also organised on the occasion.

Hindu refugees, who migrated here from Pakistan in 1947, marched in procession demanding citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir. They raised slogans against the government for denying them citizenship rights for the past 60 years.

Mohammad Dillawar Mir, minister for public health engineering, unfurled the flag at Kupwara.

Qazi Mohammad Afzal, minister for housing and urban development, took the salute at Ganderbal. Hakeem Yasin, transport minister, unfurled the national flag at Budgam. Peerzada Sayeed, minister for education, was the chief guest at Pulwama where he ruled out the trifurcation of the state.

The day was also celebrated in Anantnag and Baramula where Abdul Aziz Zargar, agriculture minister, and Taj Mohiuddin, consumer affairs minister, took the salute.

Chief executive councilor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Chering Dorje, unfurled the flag at Leh. The celebrations commenced with a wreath-laying ceremony.As a salute to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation Major-Gen Sanjeev Loomba, GOC, Tiger Division laid the wreath. 

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Celebrations at Rajouri, Poonch
Tribune News Service

Rajouri, August 15
The 60th Independence Day was celebrated with enthusiasm and fanfare in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

At Rajouri,people amidst tight security attended the function at the Police Line grounds. Minister of state for industries and commerce Romesh Chander was the chief guest here and unfurled the flag.

He highlighted achievements of the Congress-led coalition government and exhorted people to strengthen hands of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

A cultural programme was presented by schoolchildren.

Meanwhile,DIG, BSF, Rajouri-Poonch Range, Ajit Mohan Bhatnagar hoisted the flag at the sector headquarters here.

In Poonch district, road and building (R&B) minister Gulchain Singh Charak unfurled the national flag at the Government Boys Higher Secondary School grounds.

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I-Day
Ramban, Kishtwar, Reasi dists celebrate after 17 yrs
Tribune News Service

Udhampur, August 15
Ignoring militants' threats, the Independence Day was celebrated in mountainous districts of Udhampur, Ramban, Kishtwar, Doda and Reasi. First time after 17 years, the day was celebrated peacefully and thousands of people participated in the functions. Functions were held in remotest areas of Doda district, a stronghold of militants.

For the first time Independence Day celebrations were held at Ramban, Kishtwar and Reasi which earlier were part of the Doda and Udhampur districts. Thousands attended Independence Day functions in these districts.

Minister of rural development Jugal Kishore Sharma hoisted the national flag in the new district of Reasi created after five decade-long struggle of people of Reasi.

At Udhampur, minister of state for sports, Babu Singh unfurled the national flag. At Doda, Aijaz Ahmed Khan, minister of state for agriculture, unfurled the flag in the presence of large number of senior officers, including DDC Doda Sourabh Bhagat and SSP Doda Monahar Singh. Students of various educational institutions and JKAP personnel held the parade and cultural activities on the occasion.

At Ramban the day was celebrated with enthusiasm for the first time after Ramban became a district. Minister of social welfare Haji Nisar Ali was the chief guest.

In Kishtwar, Prem Sagar Aziz MOS finance, planning and parliamentary affairs took the salute and hoisted the flag.

In the Chief Minister's hometown Bhaderwah, the day was celebrated at the Government Higher Secondary School for Boys where SDM P.K.Pole hoisted the flag.

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Army Depot Fire
COAS announces relief
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 15
The Army chief has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for each civilian who lost his life and Rs 50,000 each for seriously injured in the ammunition depot fire at Khundroo in south Kashmir.

Defence spokesman Lt Col A. K. Mathur said. To date 18 persons,including one officer, 15 firefighters and two civilians have died and 16 were injured,while three persons were still missing, he added. 

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Yearning for peace: Greetings exchanged at international border
Prabhjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Suchetgarh (Jammu), August 15
Border village Suchetgarh didn't sleep last night, as villagers and some members of a civic society with lit candles in hands here greeted neighbours across the international border (IB) fence at midnight hour of August 14 when both India and Pakistan became free 60 years back.

Men,women and children gathered on the rooftop of 'janjh ghar' (community hall), with lit candles in both hands, greeted the Pak Rangers at Peeli post of Kadalayal, a village on the Pakistan side, as the BSF men looked on with welcoming gestures.

Paying tributes to the thousands who died in the 1947 Partition riots, they talked of peace and deliberated on issues like the political fate of J and K state, casualties in the border villages during the Indo-Pak wars and in later years before the ceasefire and the possibility of peace between the two nations.

The event, became a candle-lit seminar in late night hours, was organised by the Jammu-based units of political and social organisations. The All- Party Hurriyat Conference, the Internationalist Democratic Party (IDP), the Jammu-Kashmir Democratic Freedom party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jammu-Kashmir Dogra Front, the Forum for Peaceful Resolution of J-K problem, the People's Conference, the Deshbhagat Yadgar Committee and the Knowledgeable Peace Society joined the effort.

Men and women sat separately in their tradition,as the talk was initiated by IDP Jammu general secretary Jameel A. Kazmi who said it had been 60 years and the fate of J and K was undecided and this led to thousands of killings in the Kashmir valley and the Jammu province inhabited by people of different faiths and communities.

Village lambardar Haveli Ram said people along the borders knew the taste of a war between two nations and the ground realities of exodus during the violence. "We witnessed the rainfall of shells and bullets before the ceasefire was announced a few years back, and those days of undeclared war between the two forces here led us to a hell of life," he said.

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