Kashmir’s I-Day Celebrations Open to All After 33 Years


In contrast to the last many years, no suspension of mobile phones or internet services was announced anywhere in the Valley…reports Asian Lite News

After 33 years since separatist violence started in J-K, authorities on Tuesday did not impose any restrictions and invited the general public to attend the main I-Day function in Srinagar city without any special entry passes.

Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, Kashmir Divisional Commissioner on Monday invited the general public to attend the main Independence Day function in Srinagar city without any special passes while no restrictions were imposed anywhere in the Valley.

Officials said that the identity cards, which the general public carries, would be enough for them to enter the Bakshi Stadium, the venue of the main Independence Day parade in Srinagar.

It was also announced by the Railways that the train service between south and north Kashmir districts would operate as usual on Tuesday.

In contrast to the last many years, no suspension of mobile phones or internet services was announced anywhere in the Valley.

Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha will hoist the national flag and take the salute at the parade at the Bakshi Stadium. District development commissioners will hoist the Tricolour and take salute at parades in each district while civilians have been invited to attend those functions as well without any restrictions.

Aerial surveillance and drones have been deployed in addition to police and paramilitary forces to secure the venues of the Independence Day parades as large public participation is expected at these functions.

Army’s I-Day gift

The Army has given an Independence Day gift to the locals of Danna village, the last village on the Line of Control in Machhal sector of J&K’s Kupwara district by dedicating a bridge across a rivulet. 

The Army said in a statement on Tuesday that the 115-feet long bridge has been named as ‘Bhagat Bridge’ in memory of Late Major Bhagat Singh, Veer Chakra, who laid down his life defending this sector in the 1965 War. 

“Danna Village is also known as Bhagat Village in memory of the brave son of India. The event was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony signifying the bridge’s official opening for use by the villagers. Ribbon was cut by Sep Mian Gul Khan, a 90-year-old 1971 war veteran and a proud resident of the area in presence of Indian Army personnel and other local dignitaries,” the Army said.

“The bridge has been constructed by painstaking efforts of Indian Army engineers who persistently toiled for two months in spite of incessant rain and adverse conditions to provide succour to locals from the difficulties related to lack of road and bridge across Machhal Nala. This bridge is testament of the Indian Army’s commitment to the people of Jammu and Kashmir be it defending the borders or supporting them towards building a prosperous and peaceful Kashmir.”

The dedication event was attended by children, women and elders of seven villages who got benefited by construction of the bridge. 

Tricolour flies atop famous clock tower in Lal Chowk

Jubilant Kashmiris holding the National Flag and the tricolour flying high at the iconic Ghanta Ghar in the heart of Srinagar’s Lal Chowk today have disproved the statement made in 2019 by Mehbooba Mufti, former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, that if article 370 is tinkered with, there would be no one left in Kashmir to hold the tricolour in their hands.

Upbeat Kashmiris have now decided to carry forward the vision of Prime Minister Modi to make India a developed Nation by 2047. Four years after 2019, Jammu and Kashmir is decked up to celebrate the 77th Independence Day.

On Sunday, hundreds of youths in Srinagar carrying tricolour in their hands busted the myth of anti-national elements that youth in Kashmir want ‘Azadi’, a dream sold out to them for many years by the terror proxies of Pakistan.

South Kashmir, once considered a hotbed of militancy, saw huge participation of people from all walks of life in a Tiranga Yatra rally under the banner of the “Meri Mati, Mera Desh” campaign.

“Today the sky of Kashmir shines with the tricolour,” L-G Manoj Sinha said on Sunday after flagging a Tiranga Yatra rally.

A new area of peace, prosperity and development ushered in Kashmir four years after the Centre revoked Article 370, which gave special rights to the people of Kashmir.

Hartals, strikes and stone pelting have become a thing of the past, and peace that remained elusive after two decades of militancy has been ushered in. Schools, colleges and Universities are functioning normally round the clock without any disturbance for the first time.

A high-profile international G20 event was held recently in Srinagar for the first time after the abrogation of article 370, signalling the dawn of a “Naya” Jammu and Kashmir.

According to government data, over one crore tourists thronged the valley in the year 2022. Experts attribute this unprecedented surge of tourists to the peace brought about by the Centre’s decision of August 5, 2019.

BJP National Secretary Tarun Chugh who is also party in- charge for Jammu and Kashmir said on Sunday, “Jammu and Kashmir is no more the terror capital of the country. It is the tourism capital where locals are looking for progress and development”.

Hundreds of people joined the Tiranga Yatra in Srinagar chanting “Vande Bharat” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. The Yatra spanned over 5 km in Srinagar city.

Since 2019, when the Centre abrogated Article 370, the J-K administration has launched a crackdown on high-profile corruption cases involving top politicians, bureaucrats and prominent businessmen.

As per security establishment, there has been a significant improvement in the overall security scenario in the valley during the last 4 years. With top militant commanders killed by security forces, insurgency which was kicking and thriving over the last 30 years, has been controlled with minimal loss of civilian lives.

Thousands of Kashmiri youths have been recruited into different categories of government jobs; Rozgar melas have been periodically held in different districts to address the issue of unemployment; youths have been imparted training under various Central schemes; today a youth in Kashmir can think of starting his own business under multiple Central schemes.

As per the government data, the union territory has received investments worth Rs 2200 crores and generated more than 10,000 jobs in one year under its New Industrial Policy 2021. As per the data revealed by the NIP, 5,327 investment proposals worth Rs 6,600 crore were received. The last time region witnessed such a massive investment was in 1947.

Panchayat and block development council elections have witnessed remarkable participation demonstrating the growing fervour in the region.

Detractors who had been exploiting the youth of Kashmir for their own interests at the beck and call of their ISI handlers based in Pakistan have been exposed and taken to task.

IAS officer Shah Faesal said in a message on his social media account that article 370 for many Kashmiris like him is a thing of the past.

“Jhelum and Ganga have merged in the Indian Ocean for the good. There is no going back. There is only marching forward.”

The decision to abrogate Article 370 has led to the complete political and economic integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country for the first time since 1947. (ANI)

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