Official Celebrations, Shutdown Mark 64th Republic Day in Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: The state government in Kashmir Saturday organized functions to mark 64th Republic day of India amid tight security vigil while majority of people remained indoors owing to a strike called by separatists, gazetted holiday and restrictions by government forces.

What has become a norm on such occasions, authorities suspended all mobile and internet services across Kashmir valley during the celebratory functions. 

The two major functions were held in twin capital cities of the region, Srinagar and Jammu, where the contingents of police, paramilitary forces, young cadets and school children marched past the Indian flag and staged performances.

Security was beefed up in the region days before the celebrations to keep militants at bay from disrupting the official functions.

Police and paramilitary troopers were deployed on roads across the region in full strength and bullet proof mobile bunker vehicles were parked in the middle of the roads outside venues of official functions to sabotage any attack.

Cell phone and internet services across the region were suspended early Saturday as a security measure to prevent militants from using mobile phones to trigger explosive devices or pass on information.

Though Jan. 26 is an official holiday in the region, a complete shutdown called by separatist factions, including Hurriyat Conference, paralysed the normal life. Shops and businesses were shut, while traffic was off the roads.

The Republic Day in India marks the date when India’s new republican constitution came into force in 1950.

In winter capital of Jammu Governor Narinder N. Vohra hoisted the Indian tricolour and took the salute at the march past of the contingents of the Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police etc.

In the Kashmir valley the main function was held at heavily fortified Bakhshi Stadium where senior minister Ali Mohammad Sagar unfurled the tri-colour.

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