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Protest in J&K over 1947 army landing
Published on 27 Oct. 2009 10:57 PM IST
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Life across the Kashmir valley was affected Tuesday in a separatist-sponsored strike to protest the day in 1947 when Indian troops landed in Kashmir after the state’s accession to the Indian union. The Indian Army units organized several commemorative functions across Jammu and Kashmir to salute their soldiers and officers who had died while fighting the Pakistani raiders. In the Kashmir Valley, shops and businesses were closed and offices reported thin attendance in observance of the strike called by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani. In Srinagar, public transport was off the roads and only a few private vehicles could be seen as police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers patrolled the streets. Few people reported for work at state government offices, educational institutions and banks. The situation in other towns of the valley was similar with normal life coming to a virtual standstill. The Indian Army celebrated the day as ‘Save Jammu and Kashmir Day’ - to mark the landing of its troops in this Himalayan state to push back a Pakistan-backed tribal invasion. It was on this day in 1947 that independent India’s army undertook its first military operation in Jammu and Kashmir. The first battalion of the Sikh regiment was the first to land in Srinagar airport, at a time when the Pakistani raiders had reached Shalteng, on the outskirts of Srinagar. The Indian Army had landed after Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra king of Jammu and Kashmir, signed the instrument of accession to join the state with the Indian union. He had sought the help of India in repulsing the Pakistan-backed tribal attack. Northern Command chief Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal led the units of the army Tuesday in marking the day. While paying homage to the martyrs at a function in Udhampur, headquarters of the Northern Command, 66 km north of Jammu, Gen. Jaswal reiterated the army’s “commitment to end the ongoing proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir”. Functions were also held by the army in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch.

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