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Will finish terrorism, LG vows on ID

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Says J&K soaring new heights, witnessing rapid, unprecedented growth

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday reiterated the resolve to finish terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and said the Union territory had put behind strikes and stone pelting and entered a new era of development and peace.

“India, the mother of democracy, wants peace and welfare of the entire humanity, but we are also ready to defend our freedom, sovereignty and integrity with full zeal,” Sinha said.

“A befitting reply is being given to those who are trying to mislead our youth with a nefarious proxy war. A final blow is being dealt to the terror ecosystem operating at the behest of the neighboring country. We will push the last nail in the coffin of terrorism,” he added.

“We have launched the final and decisive assault on terrorism. The 1.30 crore people of Jammu and Kashmir should lend their voice in support of these efforts,” Sinha said addressing the 76th Independence Day celebrations at Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium here.

He said there were no more strikes being called in Kashmir and the era of “stone-pelting” has been consigned to pages of history.

“There is no shutting down of markets or schools remaining closed for long periods,” he added.

Sinha said Jammu and Kashmir had entered a new era of development, good governance and transparency.

“In this ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independent India, Jammu and Kashmir is soaring to a new height. A strong, peaceful and prosperous union territory is witnessing rapid growth over three successive years, which is unprecedented in the history. The nightmare of seven long decades is over and a fear-free, corruption-free new Jammu and Kashmir is emerging to take on the future challenges,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir is on the move. I call upon every section of the society to make their valuable contribution to a happy, peaceful and prosperous UT. On this Independence Day, let us take a pledge to make Jammu and Kashmir Nasha-Mukt, Bhrashtachar-Mukt and Rozgaar-Yukt,” he added.

In his 33-minute-speech, Sinha highlighted various steps taken by the government for taking development to the grassroots level in Jammu and Kashmir and for improving the basic amenities like electricity supply, drinking water, and education.

The main Independence Day function was held at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium where contingents of various belt forces and school children braved rain to march past the dias where Sinha took salute.

Sinha inspected the parade by various contingents of police and other security forces.

The Independence Day parade consisted of various contingents of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB, JKAP, IRP, JKP women contingents, SDRF, Fire and Emergency Services, J&K Police, Civil Defence, Forest Protection Force, National Cadet Corps, school students, besides brass bands of JKP, BSF, and JKP pipe band.

Students and artists presented colourful cultural items.  Cultural pageantry with themes of national integration demonstrated our shared commitment to fundamental values of social harmony, and the artists representing the glorious composite heritage also exhibited the glimpses of a new and resurgent J&K. Energetic performances of Bhand Pather and Bhangra dance were also presented on the occasion, an official spokesman said.

The LG also handed over cash prizes to the student groups who excelled in the cultural items.

The winners of the National Anthem singing competition were also felicitated at the UT-level Independence Day event.

Among those present on the occasion were Justice Pankaj Mithal, Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh; K. K. Sharma, State Election Commissioner; judges of the High Court; PRI representatives; Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor SMC, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Dilbag Singh, DGP; Lt General Amardeep Singh Aujla, GOC 15 Corps; former legislators; senior civil, police, and army officers, political and social activists, prominent citizens and media-persons.

After many years, the authorities did not snap internet services on mobile devices, which had become a part of security drills on Independence Day and Republic Day after the 2005 blast outside Bakshi stadium.

However, security arrangements around the venue had been beefed up with only vehicles carrying a special security clearance being allowed within 1.5 kilometre radius of the cricket stadium.

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