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12,000-strong gathering to celebrate historic August 5 anniversary at Kashmir’s Bakhshi Stadium

Arrangements are underway in a big way to mobilise a cheering crowd of 12,000 Kashmiris, particularly students and sportspersons, to celebrate the third anniversary of the withdrawal of the erstwhile State's special status at the inauguration of the renovated Bakhshi Stadium in Srinagar on 5 August, 2022.(File Photo)

Arrangements are underway in a big way to mobilise a cheering crowd of 12,000 Kashmiris, particularly students and sportspersons, to celebrate the third anniversary of the withdrawal of the erstwhile State's special status at the inauguration of the renovated Bakhshi Stadium in Srinagar on 5 August, 2022.

India Narrative has learnt from highly placed authoritative sources that both, Srinagar and New Delhi, were keenly exploring the possibilities of holding a major rally to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 in the Union Territory's summer capital later this week. Since the restoration works of Bakhshi Stadium, the traditional venue of the Independence Day ceremonial parades, have been completed, it has been decided at the highest level to hold the inauguration on 5 August 2022 and throw the stadium open for sports activities, particularly football, on the same day.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is expected to inaugurate Kashmir's largest sports stadium which has been refurbished and modernised with an expenditure of over 50 crore after the devastating flood of September 2014. The stadium had suffered massive damage due to the unprecedented flood in Jammu and Kashmir. With the focus on creating a stadium in tune with the standards of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the restoration works were assigned to the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) in 2016.

The seating capacity of the stadium has also been increased to 20,000. For the first now, day-and-night football matches can be played at Bakhshi Stadium, the convention venue of Independence Day and Republic Day ceremonies. The stadium being under renovation, these State ceremonies have been held at Sher-e-Kashmir International Cricket Stadium Sonwar in Srinagar since 2015. Sources said that immediately after the inauguration, the first football match under floodlights would be played at Bakhshi Stadium in the evening on 5 August.

"For the first time now, the sports-loving youth will get all facilities under one roof at Bakhshi Stadium which is close to the UT's first indoor sports stadium near Iqbal Park. Endemic to Kashmir, Khatambandh wooden ceilings have been raised under some roof portions of the stadium.

Coinciding with the moves to fully integrate Kashmir with the rest of India—a process that commenced on August 5,2019—the government has made another symbolic move.

Last week eighteen more educational institutions will be named after the eminent personalities as well as soldiers and civilians who have sacrificed their lives during the over 32 years of the separatist terrorism.

Government Higher Secondary School Soaf Shali, Anantnag, will be named after the prominent Kashmiri poet late Sarwanand Kaul Premi who was gunned down by terrorists in Anantnag in the early stage of militancy in 1990.

Government Boys Middle School, Wanpora, Gurez will be named after the martyr Reyaz Ahmad Lone.

Government Middle School Chandanwari has been named after Rifleman Mohammad Safeer Khan. Similarly, Government Middle School Dab Wakora, Ganderbal, BMS Kupwara, UPS Kundlayan, Government Middle School Banday Mohalla, Handwara, UPS Kashmiri Manigah, Government Middle School (Boys) Garhi and Government Boys Middle School, Jaganoo, have been named after the names paratrooper Shabir Ahmad Malik, Rifleman Abdul Hameed Chara, head constable Abdul Rashid Kalas, selection grade constable Ghulam Mustafa Barah, head constable Sheraz Ahmad, Constable Rajinder Kumar and Constable Raj Kumar respectively.

Also read: Chess Olympiad 2022: Pakistan loses another game on Kashmir