SRINAGAR, MUZZAFARAABD: Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observed Indian Republic Day as Black Day to convey to the world community that India’s claim of being a democratic republic was totally misleading as it had denied the people of Kashmir their inalienable right to self-determination. Call for the observance of Black Day was given by APHC (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Muhammad Yasin Malik, the High Court Bar Association and other pro-liberation Hurriyat leaders and organisations. Dozens of Hurriyat leaders including Hurriyat leader Shahbbir Ahmed Shah were arrested by Indian forces.
All the business centers and educational institutions remained closed meanwhile the traffic remained off the roads. Mobile and internet service in Occupied Kashmir also remained shut; meanwhile a short ceremony of Indian republic day was held in Sringar. Governor IOK NN Vohra inspected the parade of Indian Republic Day in Srinagar. Meanwhile the protest demonstrations were held in all the district headquarters of AJK and capital of AJK Muzzafarabad on the occasion of the Black Day.
The day was marked with a complete shutter down strike in occupied Kashmir. Gun-totting Indian troops and police personnel were manning every nook and corner of all major cities and towns of the territory to ensure that people do not hold anti-India demonstrations.
The occupation authorities had deployed troops and police personnel in strength around the Bakhshi Stadium, the main venue of official function in Srinagar, and other vital installations across the Valley.
Stringent security measures had been put in place around Bakhshi Stadium, the main venue of the official function in Srinagar. The stadium had been put under cordon by the forces restricting the movement of pedestrians and vehicles while sharp shooters had been positioned at high-rise buildings around the venue.
Movement of people was monitored through close circuit television cameras that had been installed at various places in Srinagar.
All mobile phone and wireless internet services in the territory were jammed by the occupation authorities.
Due to heightened security arrangements put in place a day ahead of January 26, Srinagar and major towns of Kashmir Saturday witnessed thin movement of people and transport.
For whole day on Saturday police and other forces were seen carrying out frisking, random search operations and checking identity cards of people. The forces also stopped the movement of vehicles around Bakshi Stadium, the venue of main January 26 function, since Saturday afternoon.
The area around Bakshi Stadium witnessed heavy deployment of forces. Early Saturday morning a search operation was carried out in the adjoining localities. Sharp shooters have been deployed on buildings around the stadium to meet any eventuality.
Police said that three-tier security arrangements have been put in place for the function at Bakshi Stadium. They said that sniffer dogs, Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTVs), high-tech access control equipment and human surveillance are in place to secure the area.
“We have divided the areas in sectors and movement of everybody is monitored,” a senior police official said adding cops in civvies have been deployed for gathering of information.
Most of the roads in Srinagar Saturday witnessed thin movement of people and transport because of heavy security deployment. Contingents of police and paramilitary forces were seen carrying out checking of vehicles.
Abdul Rashid, who traveled from Budgam to Srinagar, said that his vehicle was checked at five places. “The forces also checked the documents of my vehicles at three places,” he said.
Heavy contingents of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Maisuma, Dalgate and other areas of Srinagar to thwart any protest.
Police and CRPF erected check posts at various places on entrance points of Srinagar. At these points, traffic coming from other districts was being thoroughly checked.
There were reports of heightened security in other districts of Kashmir even as separatist groups have appealed the people to observe a strike on January 26.