Srinagar, Aug 15 (IANS) The main Independence Day function passed off peacefully here on Monday although a militant attack in the old city area left 10 security personnel injured.
“Militants attacked a security forces troop in Khanyar area injuring 10 security personnel, including nine Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and a local policeman,” a police officer told IANS.
The injured were transferred to a hospital, the official said. The doctors described the condition of two CRPF troopers as “critical”.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti hoisted the national flag and was given salute at a parade at the Bakshi stadium.
Mehbooba said peace was imperative for equal development of all the three regions of the state.
“I ensured that civilians are not used as human shield during anti-militancy operations. I am sad because certain elements are using our youths as a shield to fulfil there notorious desires.
“These elements are trying to achieve there objectives through violence,” the Chief Minister said.
“Thousands have died in the state in 1990s but what did we achieve?” Mehbooba asked. “During the past 40 days we handed our youths to these vested interests who are using them as cannon fodder.”
She said that her government needed time for healing of the wounds left behind by the current violence which has left at least 57 people dead in the valley.
Mehbooba regretted that despite Islam’s message of hospitality, even basic hospitality was ignored during Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent visit to Pakistan.
The Chief Minister appealed India and Pakistan to come together and work for peace in both parts of the divided Kashmir.
“So much blood has flown in the Jehlum river and it has no capacity to bear further bloodshed,” she said.
Mehbooba also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the entire parliament stood behind the people of Jammu and Kashmir to pull them out of the present crisis.
She regretted that whenever schools are opened by the government, people come out to force closure of those institutions.
Mehbooba said the present disturbance had retarded the pace of development in the state.
Members of the state council of ministers, senior civil and military officials were present during the Independence Day celebration ceremony.
Authorities have imposed curfew in the entire Srinagar and all other nine districts in the valley to prevent violence on the country’s 70th Independence Day celebration.