Rich Tributes paid to soldiers: Separatists calls 'Black Day'

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Jammu, Oct 27 (UNI) October 27 remains a controversial day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, as a section of the population today recalled the brave warriors who laid down their lives to save the Valley from Pakistan-supported tribal invaders while another observed a 'Black Day'.

The day, which is also celebrated as 'Infantry Day', to mark the first post-independence action of the army when Indian forces landed in Kashmir after Maharaja Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession with New Delhi.

Several programmes were orgainsed in the Jammu region to pay tribute to the Dogra soldiers and civilians like Maqbool Sheerwani, who laid down their lives to save the state from foreign agression.

In the main ceremony, Governor Lt Gen S K Sinha (retd) laid a floral wreath on the statue of the 'Saviour of Kashmir', Brigadier Rajinder Singh, the dedicated Dogra soldier of the Maharaja's army who sacrificed his life in the wee hours of October 27, 1947, but only after putting up strong resistance against the raiders.

Hours after the supreme sacrifice by the noble soldier, the Indian army landed in the 'Heaven on the Earth' and halted the tribal advance, thus saving Srinagar city.

For his leadership of the highest order, indomitable courage and unflinching loyalty, Brigadier Rajinder Singh was posthumously decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra.

On the other hand, the separatist factions in the valley had called for a 'black day' to protest against the ''forcible occupation of Kashmir by the Indian troops'' in 1947.

Reports of pelting of stones on moving vehicles and security personnel and burning of tyres were received from many parts of Srinagar. A complete shutdown was also observed in Baramulla, Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Badgam, Bandipora and Sopore.

Traffic remained off the roads as mostly private vehicles plied, while government offices and schools recorded thin attendance.

A large number of people were seen travelling by foot to reach their respective destinations in view of the non-availability of public transport in response to the strike call in Srinagar.

However, many Jammu-based political groups have demanded that October 27 be celebrated like any other national day.

''Cultural programmes should be organised in the entire state so that people will come to know about the rich history of Jammu and Kashmir'' JKNPP chairman Prof Bhim Singh had suggested.


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