Jammu celebrates Janmashtami with fanfare amid tight security

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Jammu, Aug 24 (UNI) The Winter Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, famous as 'City of Temples', today donned a festive look as people celebrated Krishna Janmashtami with pomp and ceremony amid tight security cover as Jammu entered the 55th day of agitation demanding restoration of land to the Amarnath Shrine Board.

Thousands of devotees visited Shri Raghunath Temple and also famous Lord Krishna Temple situated at Rani Park area to offer prayers.

However, special security arrangements were made in all the temples in view of the festival. Despite the ongoing agitation over Amarnath land issue, Jammu celebrated Janmashtami with peace and in communal harmony.

''Jammu at present is fighting for a genuine cause and this is for the first time in my life I have seen such a massive participation of devotees in procession and in temples despite complete shutdown for the consecutive 33 days,'' a passer-by told UNI.

Enthusiastic people carrying flowers, idols of Lord Krishna visited the holy places and offered prayers amid chants of 'Hare Krishna Hare Rama, Hare Rama Hare Hare.' Meanwhile, children attired as Lord Krishna, took part in cultural events, 'jhankis' were taken out at various places and womenfolk sang 'bhakti songs' participated equally in the celebrations.

Earlier Shobha Yatra was taken out from famous Shri Raghunath Temple as main procession originated in which more than 50,000 devotees participated.

''The Yatra started from main Raghunath Bazar and passed through various bazars and markets of old city and culminated at Shri Raghunath Temple, besides Hare Krishna, the chants of 'Bam-Bam Bhole' also echoed in air,'' an eyewitness said, adding the security personnel deployed at various sensitive points and outside temples, frisked every person before his entrance.

Moreover, in a unique example of brotherhood and communal harmony at Talab Khatikan, the procession was given a rousing welcome by the Muslim brethren by showering flower petals on the 'Jhankis' and they also arranged water for the devotees participating in the procession.

UNI VBH PD RAI2119

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