January 2002 News

R-Day peaceful in J&K despite Hurriyat stir

26 January 2002
The Hindu

Srinagar: Barring one incident in which a mobile Low Power Transmitter (LPT) of Doordarshan was blown off, Republic Day in Jammu and Kashmir passed off peacefully, amidst an unprecedented security arrangement and the Hurriyat''s strike call. The Public Works Minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar, unfurled the national flag in the highly-guarded Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar and took salute. In his speech, Mr. Sagar asked Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism. ''Let us live in peace.'' He had a dig at Hurriyat leaders and asked them to join the electoral process to prove their representative character. Srinagar wore a deserted look due to the Hurriyat''s strike call and tight security. People remained indoors, shops were closed and vehicles were off the road. In Jammu city, all the roads leading to M.A. Stadium where the Governor, G.C. Saxena, took salute were sealed. The traffic was banned till 2 p.m. For the first time, the Army did not take part in the march past. Mr. Saxena, in his speech, predicted an early end to terrorism and said, ''people are running out of patience and won''t tolerate terrorism anymore''. Talking to reporters, the Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, urged the SAARC to play its role in the development of the region. Campaign against terrorism was gaining momentum at the global level and India had firmly resolved to fight it, he said.


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