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Rediff.com  » News » Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

Last updated on: January 26, 2012 16:46 IST

Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

Mobile phones across Kashmir Valley on Thursday fell silent from 9 am till noon as service providers switched off the links following instructions from the security agencies as part of precautionary measures on Republic Day.

 

"Mobile phone and portable Internet services were shut down from 9 AM till noon to ensure that no electronically controlled remote control devices were operated by militants," an official said.

 

These services remain shut on Republic Day and Independence Day after militants used a mobile phone to trigger a bomb blast outside Bakshi Stadium in 2005.

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Image: A Kashmiri schoolgirl wearing traditional attire performs to a patriotic song
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Meanwhile, despite chilling conditions and overnight snowfall, thousands of people across Kashmir thronged the venues where Republic Day were being celebrated.

 

The main function in the Valley was held at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar amidst tight security.

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Image: A contingent of the National Cadet Corps
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather unfurled the national flag at Bakshi Stadium where over 5,000 people attended the function.

 

Opposition PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani and ruling NC MLAs Peer Afaq and Irfan Ahmad Shah were also present at the venue.

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Image: People watch police contingents perform a salute
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Contingents of police, CRPF, BSF and students from various schools participated in the Republic Day parade as Rather took salute.

 

Large number of people had turned to witness the parade despite chilling weather, as mercury was sub-zero at the time of the event, and light snowfall overnight.

 

Reports of good turnout of people at Republic Day functions were received from almost all district and town headquarters in the Valley.

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Image: Kashmiri schoolgirls wearing traditional dresses perform to a patriotic song
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters
Tags: CRPF , BSF , Kashmiris , Valley

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Bandipora witnessed the highest attendance of 14,000 people attending the Republic Day function as CAPD Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon unfurled the tricolour.

 

Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed hoisted the National Flag at Baramulla district headquarters where over 10,000 people attended the function.

 

Rural Development Minister Ali Mohmmad Sagar presided over the function in Ganderbal district where nearly 5,000 people were present to witness the parade.

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Image: A Kashmiri girl salutes
Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Meanwhile, shops and business establishments remained closed across the city and other areas of the Valley due to a strike call given by separatist groups.

 

Transport services remained off roads throughout the Valley.

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Image: A Kashmiri crosses a deserted street
Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com
Tags: , Kashmiris , Valley

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Kashmiris celebrate R-Day, but without mobiles, Internet

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Both factions of Hurriyat Conference had called for observing the day as 'black day', accusing the Centre of not taking steps to resolve Kashmir issue despite passage of more than six decades.

 

Black flags were hoisted in many parts of the old Srinagar City, especially in Gojwara and Nowhatta areas, considered to be stronghold of moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

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Image: A policeman shares a light moment with a Kashmiri boy
Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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However, a police spokesman said the black flags were hoisted to "glorify the martyrdom" and demand punishment for the killers of Tariq Ahmad Bhat.

 

Bhat was allegedly beaten by a group of stonepelters on December 3 last year when he defied their dictates of forcing him to shut down his shop, the spokesman said.

 

The youth suffered serious head injuries and was shifted to SKIMS Hospital for treatment where he succumbed to the injuries after battling for his life for more than 10 days.

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Image: Security personnel patrol the Lal Chowk locality
Photographs: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

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