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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Srinagar comes to halt; separatists asked to shun guns

Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, January 26, 2013
First Published: 15:36 IST(26/1/2013) | Last Updated: 17:40 IST(26/1/2013)

People in Kashmir remained indoors on the country's 64th Republic Day, owing to a call by separatists and restrictions by government in some parts of the state's summer capital, Srinagar.

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All wireless telecommunication networks, including mobile connectivity, were suspended in the morning without any notice or warning by the service providers. Authorities said the networks were jammed as a precautionary measure. The service was restored in the afternoon.
The state-level function for Republic Day, meanwhile, was organised at the state's winter capital, Jammu, and was attended by chief minister Omar Abdullah and the governor.

In Srinagar, the Republic Day function passed off peacefully at the heavily-guarded Bakshi stadium where rural development Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar took the salute amid an audience of around 300 people.

The minister reiterated the call of chief minister Omar Abdullah for separatists to join dialogue. He denounced gun culture, saying it has 'only brought destruction to this place (Kashmir)'. "No issue can be solved by guns," Sagar said in his speech at the stadium, which was sealed days ahead of the function. Civilian movement in the area was heavily restricted.

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