Srinagar, Jul 16: The Army on Friday said it was encouraging to see an overwhelming response from people in Kashmir to the 'Swarnim Vijay Mashaal' -- the victory flame to celebrate India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war -- as the force paid floral tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives for the country.
Army officers and war veterans, led by General officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps, Lieutenant General D P Pandey, paid their tributes in front of the victory flame which was kept at the war memorial at the headquarters of the 15 Corps at Badamibagh Cantonment here.
The victory flame was lit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16 last year. It reached Badami Bagh Cantonment, the headquarters of the Army's 15 Corps, on July 12.
Speaking on the occasion, Lieutenant General D P Pandey noted it was a privilege to hold the 'mashaal' (victory flame) in the Chinar Corps headquarters.
Today is a very important day. We are honoured to have this very emotive wreath-laying ceremony here to pay tribute to all our heroes who participated in the 1971 war, including the soldiers and the Kashmiri population who fought alongside, to defeat the designs of the enemy from outside and within, he said.
He said it was very encouraging to see an overwhelming response from the people in Kashmir to the victory flame as it was carried around several places in the Valley, including in the Srinagar city.
People from all walks of life, different age groups and background have thronged in thousands to pay their respect to this honourable flame. I indeed want to convey my gratitude to one and all who have come together to honour this victory flame, the senior officer said.
The victory flame was carried around Srinagar city on Thursday with enthusiasm as citizens of the city came out on the streets in large numbers to honour the flame. Various events were organised in different parts of the city, a defence spokesman said.
As a mark of solidarity, roadside events were organised by citizens and local NGOs at Lalded hospital, Iqbal Park, Pratap Park, Jogger's Park and Rajbagh to pay homage to the victory flame, he added.