SRINAGAR: In order to counter the separatists’ boycott call and ensure good attendance at Independence Day function fete, the Jammu & Kashmir government has made it mandatory for its employees in the state’s twin capitals to attend the August 15 functions.
The government on Tuesday directed all its officials stationed at the twin capitals to attend the main Independence Day functions at the Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar and the Parade Ground in Jammu respectively.
“We have seen that officials skip the function in Srinagar. This has an effect on the overall attendance at the venue in Srinagar. This time we want to ensure good attendance to send a message that people no longer heed the calls of separatists,” an official said.
The separatists have called a shutdown on the day and urged people to stay away from Independence Day celebrations.
Sources said the government had asked all the administrative Secretaries, heads of the departments and the MDs and CEOs of public-sector undertakings to ensure that all their officers working in Srinagar and Jammu would attend the functions.
The J&KSRTC and the J&K Tourism Development Corporation have been asked to ensure that their buses/canter vehicles report at Srinagar at 7:30 am on August 15 for ferrying the officials to and from the Bakshi Stadium, where the main Independence Day function takes place.
Sources said the PDP-BJP Government is keen on having an impressive official turnout at Independence Day functions in Srinagar and Jammu.
“Both the PDP and the BJP want to make sure that an impressive I-Day function is held in Srinagar. Both parties are also going to give passes for I-Day functions to their party workers and leaders to ensure good attendance,” a source said.
2 Militants Killed
A close associate of wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba South Kashmir chief Abu Qasim and a militant were killed in an 18-hour gunfight with security forces in Pulwama district of J&K on Tuesday, while a civilian died in clashes with security personnel during protests after the encounter.
Police and the Army’s 55 Rashtria Rifles personnel launched a combing and search operation in Lajour village in Ratnipora area of the district on Monday evening, an official said. He added that militants hiding in the area had fired on the search party during the combing operation.
A constable of the Special Operations Group of Police was injured in the gunfight and has been hospitalised. The officials identified the deceased militants as Showkat Ahmad Lone and Gulzar Ahmad, both local militants. An AK 47, a Pistol and other ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
“The operation was called off after a thorough search was conducted after the bodies of the militants were recovered,” an official said.