Srinagar: People in large numbers participated in the Independence Day celebrations at the Bakshi stadium in Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir on Tuesday.
The 77th Independence Day was celebrated across Kashmir with scores of functions taking place even as extraordinary security arrangements were in place for smooth celebrations.
On Tuesday, the country celebrated its 77th Independence Day, marking 76 years of freedom from British rule.
The theme for this year’s celebration was ‘Nation First, Always First’, an integral part of the broader ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha presided over the main Independence Day function here at Bakshi Stadium.
The tricolour was also unfurled in all district headquarters and the government departments across the region. At the respective district headquarters, District Development Council (DDC) chairpersons were the chief guests.
Long queues of people could be seen outside the Bakshi Stadium since Tuesday morning.
There were no restrictions on the movement of people and the internet, which used to be a norm on Independence Day in Kashmir until 2021.
In the queues were men, women, and children seen waving the tricolour.
The people at Bakshi Stadium had started to arrive at 8 am. All entered the stadium after proper frisking and witnessed the colourful parade amid scorching heat.
“This is the first time in my life that I am attending the Independence Day function,” said Mayur Ashraf, a 10th standard student who was accompanied by his father and sister.
Abdul Ahad, 30, a grocery shop owner said that he was encouraged by the statements of officials that there were no restrictions.
“First I was thinking of getting a pass so that I can witness the parade,” he said. “Later, I came to know about the free entry. The prevailing peace gave us the chance. We must pray for complete and long lasting peace in J&K.”
Scores of people were seen waving the tricolour at Srinagar's iconic Lal Chowk.
The waving of flags at Lal Chowk by the groups of people continued for almost till late afternoon.
In Srinagar, unfurling of tricolour functions were held at various government offices and schools.
For over a week, educational institutions and other departments had been organising events, competitions, and activities at district, school, and panchayat levels in tune with the celebration plan of ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’.
Reports of huge participation of people in Independence Day celebrations were received from north Kashmir.
A large number of people participated in the functions in Kupwara, Handwara, Baramulla, Bandipore, and Sopore.
Reports from south Kashmir also suggested that a large number of people attended the celebrations in Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Awantipora.