rmy celebrated Infantry Day at its Northern Command (NC) headquarters in garrison town of Udhampur and other places across the state.
Srinagar: Kashmir Valley was shut again on Saturday in response to a call for observing a ‘black day’ issued by separatists on the anniversary of the Indian troops’ arrival in Srinagar. The call prompted the authorities to step up security across the Valley particularly in central Srinagar.
The first batch of infantry troops from Sikh Regiment’s first battalion was airlifted to Srinagar on October 27, 1947 following Maharaja Hari Singh signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’. The accession was supported by Kashmir’s legendary leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
However, Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists say that India forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir on the pretext of the Maharaja’s seeking its military assistance to push back the Pakistani tribal raiders.
The separatists also, like some historians, allege that sending in troops by New Delhi had been planned days before they actually arrived at the Srinagar airport on October 27, 1947.
Hundreds of J&K policemen and CRPF jawans and members of other central forces, fanned out overnight, patrolled the streets of Srinagar. The security was very tight in volatile old quarter of the summer capital to hold back protests by separatists.
In quite contrast to the separatists’ ‘black day’ call, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some other like-minded groups based mainly in Jammu celebrated the day by organising ‘jubilation’ and ‘victory’ meetings and rallies, asserting the J&Ks accession with Union of India is “complete and final”.
Army celebrated Infantry Day at its Northern Command (NC) headquarters in garrison town of Udhampur and other places across the state. The day is observed every year on October 27, coinciding with the arrival of first batch of Indian troops in Srinagar on this day in 1947. The Infantry is the largest component and the premier fighting arm of the Indian Army, also known as the ‘Queen of the Battle’.
Meanwhile, gunmen believed to be militants on Saturday abducted the owner of the house where an encounter had taken place in Laroo village of southern Kulgam district on October 21. Three militants were killed in the encounter and soon thereafter an explosion took place in the debris of the private house, killing seven civilians and injuring several others.
The police sources said that the house owner Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat was taken along by a group of gunmen who had arrived in the village earlier.
Separately, about a dozen protesters were injured in clashes with security forces in Kulgam’s Khudwani area earlier during the day.
The police and witnesses said that the protests broke out in the area after the security forces launched a cordon and search operation to flush out militants. Irate crowds resisted the security forces by hurling rocks at them, forcing the latter to use force, officials said.
In a similar situation in Dreed Kalipora village of neighbouring Shopian distruct more than thirty people including a woman were injured on Saturday, a report received here said. The police said that the operations against the militants at both the places were underway, however.