Republic Day rarity in Kashmir: Tight security but mobile, internet services stay onindia Updated: Jan 26, 2017 18:13 IST
The women contingent of Jammu and Kashmir Police stand at attention during the 68th Republic Day parade at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar on Thursday.(PTI)
For the third year in a row, official Republic Day functions in various parts of Kashmir were presided over by government officials as ministers could not make it to the Valley from winter capital Jammu due to snowfall.
Breaking off the usual practice, authorities did not suspend mobile telephony and internet services while the Republic Day celebrations were going on.
The main Republic Day function was held at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar with divisional commissioner (Kashmir) Baseer Khan taking the salute at the march past by contingents of police, security forces and school children.
Despite snowfall early on Thursday morning, stringent security arrangements were put in place across Kashmir to ensure that the Republic Day functions pass off peacefully, officials said.
They said there was no untoward incident reported from anywhere in the Valley.
Officials said deputy commissioners of respective districts presided at the functions at district headquarters.
Usually, a senior minister presides over the function at the Bakshi stadium while other ministers would unfurl the national tricolour at district headquarters.
However, the snowfall over the past three days prevented the arrival of ministers from Jammu to the Valley this year, necessitating the officials to preside over the functions.
Last year, and the year before, government officials had presided over the Republic Day functions as the state was placed under Governor’s Rule in the absence of an elected government.
Meanwhile, a group of BJP workers staged a ‘Republic Day’ march in Balahama area on the periphery of Srinagar and later hoisted a tricolour at the EDI building in Pampore area.