People boycott Govt functions to celebrate I-Day in Jammu

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Jammu, Aug 15 (UNI) People today boycotted all the government programmes in the Jammu region and participated in huge crowds in the independently organised Independence Day functions of the Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangarsh Samiti (SAYSS), an amalgam leading an agitation for restoration of forest land to the (SASB) in south Kashmir.

More than 20,000 citizens carrying the national flag gathered at the historic Mubarak Mandi Palace Complex where SAYSS convenor Leela Karan Sharma hoisted the Tricolour while only a few hundred people, virtually all government employees, attended the main state function presided over by Dr S S Bloeria, Advisor to Governor N N Vohra, nearby at the Mini Stadium, Parade Ground, here.

People even climbed at the roof of the complex with Tricolours to witness the flag hoisting by the Samiti convenor. People were vociferously shouting 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Bham Bham Bhole'.

The Samiti also received heavy response from people at other places in the city and the outskirts for the 62nd Independence Day celebrations. The Tricolour was unfurled by the people at every chowk in the city.

At the state function in the winter capital, Dr Bloeria took the salute of the ceremonial parade. Contingents of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), J &K Armed Police, J &K Police (women wing), Forest Protection Force, Fire Service Department, National Cadet Corps and students of Sainik School Nagrota participated in the function.

Despite directions to the state police personnel to attend the ceremonial parade in civil dress along with family members, as reliable sources informed, only those who were on duty made their presence in the small gathering of former ministers, army and civil officials.

Meanwhile, the entire Jammu region observed complete shutdown on the 23rd consecutive day today to protest against the government for revoking the order of land diversion in favour of the SASB. Neither were the markets open, nor was the transport available for public service.

A thick security blanket was thrown over the entire Jammu city in wake of terror threats aimed at the Independence Day celebrations.

Troops of the Army, Paramilitary Forces and Police have been put on alert, following dozens of intercepts of communication between the groups of anti-national elements, Defence spokesman Lt Col S D Goswami told UNI.

While curfew was relaxed in Jammu district from 0500 hrs to 2000 hrs, there was no relaxation in the hilly Kishtwar district.

The National flag was unfurled at each district headquarter in the region by the respective District Commissioners.

UNI VJ SBC BD1703

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