M A I N   N E W S

I-Day function ends abruptly in Srinagar
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 15
While the Independence Day celebrations across Kashmir valley passed off peacefully, the function at Bakshi Stadium, the venue of main celebrations here, had to be called off midway due to security reasons.

Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Gopal Sharma, however, denied the rumours floated by vested interests and termed it an abortive attempt to eclipse unprecedented public participation in peaceful celebration of Independence Day in the entire state. The DGP said the ID functions throughout the state concluded peacefully. He said the main function was held at Bakshi Stadium where of 20,000 to 25,000 people were present.

The function attended by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at Bakshi Stadium here was called off abruptly due to bad weather while a cultural programme was being presented by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Some other events were yet to follow after the Chief Minister had already unfurled the Tricolour and inspected the march past. It had been raining since morning, though there was little respite when the function started at 10 am. An announcement regarding conclusion of the function due to bad weather came as a surprise for everyone.

Reacting to the reports, DGP, Gopal Sharma said the rumour that there was a security problem at the Independence Day function here today, was nothing but a figment of imagination spread by frustrated elements feeling uncomfortable with the historic and peaceful public presence in the function. “They miserably failed in their design”, he said.

Earlier, the Chief Minister, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, here today asked militants to shun the path of violence and take part in talks to solve all problems amicably as nothing could be achieved by bloodshed and violence. He also appealed to the separatist leaders to be ready for participation in the third roundtable conference so that edifice for lasting peace is laid replacing the era of violence and bloodshed and settlement of all issues peacefully through the medium of dialogue and interaction.

Addressing the 60th Independence Day function at Bakshi Stadium here, the Chief Minister called upon the people to rise to the occasion and seek an atmosphere for peace, development and progress of the state. “Sitting across the table and resorting to talks is the only means to solve vexed problems amicably and not to talk of smaller issues”, he said.

Earlier, Mr Azad unfurled the National Flag and inspected the parade and took the salute at the march past from various contingents. Others present on the occasion included former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Chairman, Legislative Council, Mr A.R. Dar, leader of the opposition National Conference in the Legislative Assembly, Mr A.R. Rather, legislators, corporators, political leaders and senior police, civil and security officers.

The event at the main venue of ID celebrations here and at other major towns of the valley was held under tight security arrangements to thwart any designs of militants to create trouble on the occasion. All routes leading to the Bakshi Stadium here were sealed off and no civilian movement was allowed in the area. A complete shutdown was observed across the valley in response to the separatists’ bandh call and to observe the day as “black day”. The Chief Minister said the 17-year-long militancy had not only led to a tremendous increase in unemployment, but had given a severe jolt to the development and progress of the state. He said the state, which was once as frontline state in the field of development was now lagging behind due to militancy that damaged public infrastructure. The militancy, he added, had rendered thousands orphans and widows and a large number of innocents had fallen prey to the terror acts. “I want to make it clear that the government is against any human rights violations and whenever any complaint has been received to this effect against security forces or police, stern action has been taken”, he said. “I also want to make it clear that nobody can give license to security forces”, he said in a covert reply to the separatists’ claim. Referring to the Indo-Pak confidence building measures, Mr Azad said a new beginning has been made by the state and central governments to get the people of both the countries out of the hatred and bloodshed scenario and pave the way for peace and development.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |