Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday celebrated the Republic Day on Tuesday, with Governor N.N. Vohra saying the state will benefit the most from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s peace initiative vis-a-vis Pakistan. The official Republic Day functions in both Srinagar, the state’s summer capital, and Jammu, the winter capital, passed off peacefully.
The main Republic Day function was held at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu where Governor Vohra hoisted the national flag and took salute at an impressive parade of the army, security forces and school children. Speaking on the occasion of the 67th Republic Day, Vohra said the people of the state would be the greatest beneficiaries of the peace initiative started by Modi between India and Pakistan.
The governor also paid tribute to late chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, after which the state was brought under Governor’s Rule. ”I hope the elected government will soon assume office in the state,” he said. Vohra also spoke about the dedication and devotion to duty displayed by the army, Jammu and Kashmir Police and central paramilitary forces in maintaining peace in the troubled state.
He praised the residents of border areas for cooperating with security forces. Senior civil and military officers attended the main function in Jammu, where school children and cultural troupes entertained the audience with their programmes highlighting the country’s unity in diversity. A thick security blanket was thrown around the stadium. More than 1,000 security personnel were deployed.
In Srinagar, the main function was held at the Bakshi Stadium where Divisional Commissioner Asgar Samoon hoisted the national flag and took salute at a parade. Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti attended the function. This was the first public appearance of Mehbooba Mufti after her father passed away on January 7.
In all other major towns across the state, district magistrates took salute. All separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah were placed under house arrest in Srinagar to prevent them from disrupting the Republic Day functions. Separatists had asked people to observe January 26 as a “black day” to attract international attention to the Kashmir issue.