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Kashmir’s volatile pockets see flag hoisting, rallies on Independence Day eve

Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex illuminated with tri-coloured lights during ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on the eve of Independence Day, in Jammu, on Sunday, August 14, 2022.

Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex illuminated with tri-coloured lights during ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ on the eve of Independence Day, in Jammu, on Sunday, August 14, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Kashmir valley witnessed major events to hoist the Tricolour on Sunday on the eve of Independence Day, even in those areas that were a hub of militants and prone to frequent street protests in the past. Meanwhile, multi-layered security was put in place ahead of the main functions on Monday in the Union Territory (UT).

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha participated in a walkathon to celebrate the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign. “Raising Pakistani flags is history. Now only the Indian flag will fly here. Earlier, there were less efforts to get people to raise the tiranga. Now there are efforts and people want to raise the flag,” L-G Sinha said, in an interview to a TV channel during the walkathon.

In south Kashmir’s Pulwama, over 1000 school children arranged themselves in the colours of the National Flag. They also made a special pattern, by seating themselves in a way that depicted “75 years:  Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” on synthetic turf of the school, a government spokesman said.

“The mega rallies, held in Tral and Pulwama town, saw participation of a huge number of youths and students. The Tricolour was being hoisted in the shops and other establishments, especially in the whole market of Pulwama town besides private houses,” Deputy Commissioner Baseer-ul-Haq said.

Pulwama has been a militancy hotbed and saw repeated anti-India street protests in the past.

Bedecked

A 22-km stretch of the National Highway in Pulwama district was also bedecked with buntings as well as the National Flag.

The Srinagar district established a national record by displaying 1850 metres long National Flag at Bakshi Stadium. Around 500 persons were engaged to roll and unroll the flag. “It took 10 days to stitch the record 1850-meter-long national flag,” an official said. “The flag was made of Khadi fabric,” he added.

In north Kashmir’s Kupwara, over 5,000 students held a mega rally to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. In Baramulla, scores of self-help groups run by women were roped in to maintain the supply of the Tricolour, as multiple functions and rallies were organised in the district.

The Army also inaugurated the 108-feet high National Flag at Hyderbaigh, Pattan, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.

Security heightened in J&K

Meanwhile, security has been heightened across J&K ahead of the main functions of the I-Day on Monday.

“Multi-layered security arrangements have been put in place across J&K. Technology is being used at several sensitive locations to make the security grid more vigilant,” Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said.

He said young boys were being roped in as hybrid militancy. “But many youth who had gone astray were counseled by the security forces and handed over to their parents,” he said.

He said the militancy graph was going down. “More needs to be done to further reduce the militancy graph,” he added.

Policeman dies in grenade blast

The policeman, who was injured in a grenade attack by militants in Kulgam on Saturday evening, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

“A grenade incident was reported yesterday night in Qaimoh in Kulgam. In this incident, one police personnel, Tahir Khan from Mendhar, Poonch, got injured. He was shifted to the Anantnag hospital for treatment, where he succumbed,” the police said.

“It took 10 days to stitch the record 1850-meter-long national flag”District official


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2022 6:37:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kashmirs-volatile-pockets-see-flag-hoisting-colourful-rallies-on-independence-day-eve/article65769122.ece