India’s Independence Day Passes Off Peacefully in Strike-Hit Kashmir

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Srinagar, Aug 15: August 15 (India’s Independence Day) passed off peacefully across the strike-hit Kashmir amidst tight security arrangements made by forces to foil any incident.

Stringent security arrangements were put in place in an around Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar and other places, where the August 15th functions were held.

Closed circuit cameras were also installed inside the stadium for the first time, while SSG personnel were monitoring the activities of the crowd with binoculars.

The police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength at the sensitive places in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley. The cops had set up additional check-points, which were being manned by the police and paramilitary personnel.

The historic Clock Tower in the summer capital was put out of limits for the public as there were apprehensions that BJP activists might try to hoist the Indian flag as they were prevented to do so on January 26th of this year.

Hundreds of police and CRPF paramilitary armed with ant-riot gear were deployed in many parts of the old city including Khnayar, Bohri Kadal, Hawal, rajouri Kadal, Eid Gah, Nowhatta and other areas to prevent any untoward incident.

Similar, security arrangements were put in place in other parts of Kashmir.

Meanwhile, as a security measure, the mobile phones and portable Internet connections were jammed across the Valley till noon.

Most cell phone users complained of the service failure.

A senior police official said such step was taken to ensure smooth conduct for the August 15th function.

Meanwhile, normal life was hit by a strike called by separatist leaders to mark India’s Independence Day.

The separatists had urged people to observe complete shutdown and observe the day as ‘black day’.

Shops and business establishments remained closed while the vehicular traffic was off the roads. Only, police, paramilitary and army vehicles were plying on the deserted roads.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.