Srinagar, Jan 26: Amid heightened security, the R-Day functions on Friday passed off peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir’s winter and summer capitals.
The main flag hoisting function and ceremonial parade was held at the Maulana Azad stadium in Jammu city where state Governor N.N. Vohra unfurled the Tri-colour and took the salute at an impressive parade.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, her cabinet colleagues, Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta, high court judges and senior army police and civil officials were also present at the function.
People from across the social spectrum and school children also participated in country’s 69th Republic Day celebrations.
Smartly turned out contingents of army, paramilitary forces, state police and school children participated in the parade.
Cultural programmes by school children was a highlight of this year’s Republic Day celebrations both in Jammu city and different district headquarters of the state.
In Srinagar city, the main function was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium where Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri hoisted the Tricolour and took the salute at the parade.
Extraordinary security arrangements had been made this year for the Republic Day celebrations amid intelligence inputs that a non-local female “suicide bomber” had entered Srinagar.
Mobile phone services were suspended in the Valley as a “precautionary measure”, with the authorities saying they would be restored in the afternoon.
Reports of peaceful R-Day celebrations have also come from different district headquarters of the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh regions.
Separatists had called for a shutdown across the Valley to attract international attention to the Kashmir dispute.
Meanwhile mobile internet services have been snapped in Kashmir as a precautionary measure on the occasion of Republic Day, officials said on Friday.
The internet services on mobile phones and data cards were suspended on Thursday as part of the security drill of Republic Day.
Although it’s a normal practice in Kashmir to suspend the internet services on Republic Day and Independence Day, this is the first time that these services were withdrawn a day earlier.
Security forces have been deployed in strength at strategic locations in the city.
The law-enforcing agencies are carrying out random frisking and searches of vehicles entering the city.
This year, the main Republic Day function will be held at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium instead of the regular venue, Bakshi Stadium.
The area around the cricket stadium was sealed on Wednesday for full-dress rehearsal of the Republic Day parade.
Traffic police has issued an advisory for movement of vehicles between the city centre and south Kashmir and no vehicle will be permitted to move along the Ram Munshi Bagh-TRC stretch of the road during the rehearsal and Republic Day function.