Peaceful I-Day in Jammu and Kashmir

August 15th, 2008 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 15 (IANS) Independence Day celebrations passed off peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir Friday, with Governor N.N. Vohra taking the salute at the main function at the Bakshi Stadium here. “We have to rise above considerations of religion and region to consolidate the gains of peace and progress we have achieved in the last 18 years,” Vohra said in his address before taking the salute at a march past by contingents drawn from the armed forces and the paramilitary and police forces.

“Governor’s Rule is only temporary. My intention is that elections are held (on schedule) and the situation returns to normal,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir came under Governor’s rule last month after Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad failed to secure a trust vote in the assembly. The vote was caused by coalition partner People’s Democratic Party (PDP) pulling out over the Amarnath shrine land transfer row.

The issue has triggered violent protests in Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region, dividing the state on communal lines in the most unprecedented manner in the last 60 years.

Security was extremely tight in Srinagar, to the extent that the cultural pageant that normally follows the march past was dispensed with. A contingent of students from the Police Public School provided the token civilian component at the parade.

Independence Day celebrations were also held at Baramullah, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Phulgam, Badgam, Kupwara, Anantnag and Shopian, officials said.

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