Republic Day celebrations peaceful in J&K
26 January 2001
The Hindustan Times
Jammu: BARRING THE firing of six rifle grenades in Baramullah, the 52nd Republic Day functions throughout Jammu and Kashmir passed off peacefully despite widely perceived threat of Islamic militants to disrupt the celebrations. Militants fired six grenades - three at 8 a.m. and three later around 11.30 a.m. The grenades caused minor damage to a kitchen building of post in Khwaja Bagh, near Baramullah. The R-Day parades were held under strict security cover that was laid in view of the threats of Pakistan sponsored groups to disrupt the functions through 'fidayeen' or suicide attacks or human bombs. The main function was held at the MAM stadium in Jammu where Governor Girish Chandra Saxena took the salute. Saxena blamed Pakistan for continuing to cause turmoil in Kashmir. He asked the people to stand boldly against the forces of terrorism. In Srinagar's Bakshi stadium, Public Works Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar took the salute. He cautioned Pakistan against continuing violence in the state. He said Pakistan should positively respond to the Indias peace initiative. Streets, however were deserted because of the tight security arrangements. There was thin attendance at the stadiums. All Parties Hurriyat Conference had given a call for the boycott of R- day functions and declared January 26 as 'Black Day' . Meanwhile, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has complimented the US for having taken a realistic stand in warning Pakistan for continuing to unleash terrorism in the state.