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Dussehra celebrated across J&K with zeal

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Srinagar: Dussehra also known as Vijayadashmi was celebrated on Tuesday in J&K like elsewhere in the country with different rituals and activities, marking the triumph of good over evil.

Here in Srinagar, effigies of demon king Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhakarna went up in flames at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket ground in Sonwar area. Besides the government functionaries, the event was also attended by common people including a good number of Kashmiri Pandits, as well as political leaders.

A festive atmosphere was witnessed at the venue as firecrackers were burst and sweets distributed among those present there, news agencies reported.

A large number of Muslims, including PDP leader Iltija Mufti, also came to witness the celebrations, the officials said.

The organisers of the festival – Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti – thanked the administration and locals for their cooperation.

Earlier, a ‘Shobha Yatra’ was taken out from a temple at Indira Nagar here to the Dussehra venue. This procession was carried out after a gap of 33 years, officials said. They said the last ‘Shobha Yatra’ for Dussehra was taken out before the advent of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.

The festival was celebrated with great fervour in Jammu as well.

Thousands of people turned up to witness giant effigies of demon king Ravana burst into flames at selected places in Jammu and elsewhere amid tight security arrangements, officials said.

The officials said elaborate security arrangements were made at all the venues to avoid any untoward incident.

Member of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh, Inspector General of Police (Jammu zone) Anand Jain and Jammu Mayor Rajinder Sharma were among the prominent persons who joined the crowd at Parade Ground to witness ‘Ravan Dahan’ shortly after dusk.

A religious procession by artists and members of Shri Sanatan Dharam Natak Samaj was taken out from Diwan Mandir and went around various parts of the old city before reaching the Parade Ground. Special puja was also performed at the historic Raghunath temple in the city.

Extending Dussehra greetings to people, the DGP said this festival reminds one of the victory of good over evil and similarly, the day is not far when terrorism will be over in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There has been an atmosphere of evil prevailing in J&K for a very long period. The good is taking over this evil and this process is almost finished,” Singh said, referring to the fight against terrorism.

To a question about the possibility of a spike in infiltration before the winter, the DGP said everything is under control as the police and other security agencies are fully alert.

Earlier during the day, various groups including the local units of RSS, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha performed ‘Shastra Puja’ (arms worship) on the occasion of Vijayadashami.

In Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, hundreds thronged the historic Polo Ground to celebrate Dussehra and witness ‘Ravan Dahan’.

Several dignitaries, including Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Pawan Kotwal, Chief Executive Councillor LAHDC Tashi Gyalson, and Additional Director General of Police Ladakh S D Jamwal, were present at the ground for the festivities.

The Dussehra celebrations at the Polo ground were organised by the Members of the Hindu Trust (Maha Sabha) Leh. The president of the trust Balbir Singh conveyed best wishes to the people of Leh on the occasion.

Earlier, a religious procession was taken out in Leh from Hare Krishna Mandir. It travelled through the main market and culminated at the Polo Ground. (With inputs from PTI)

Photo/Javed Khan

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