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Tricolour hoisted at 50,000 schools, offices in J&K

India is responding strongly to the situation that China has created along the LAC in Ladakh by violating border agreements.

With the Union Territory’s Police winning maximum number of the gallantry awards across the country this year, the national flag is being unfurled at around 50,000 government installations, including 23,000 schools, in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of the Independence Day on Sunday, 15 August. This is for the first time since the eruption of militancy in 1989 that the Indian Independence Day is being celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir at this large scale.

According to the authoritative sources all preparations have been made for the celebration of I-Day at over 50,000 locations including 23,000 educational institutions. For the first time in the last 32 years, all stationery shops in Srinagar and other district headquarters were seen selling the national flags of different sizes to school headmasters and principals and other government officers.

Officials said that the tricolour would be hoisted and the national anthem played at all government offices including Panchayat Ghars, Block Development Offices, municipal and urban local body offices, Police Stations and the camps of the Police, paramilitary forces and the Army. Previously, such celebrations in the valley had been limited to the State/UT ceremonial parade at Srinagar and the nine rural district headquarters.

 Notwithstanding threats from different terror outfits, school students, artists, athletes and other sports persons have made all preparations and kept the national flag ready for the I-Day ceremonies on Monday. As usual, the terror outfits have threatened to kill anybody participating in the Indian Independence Day celebrations in Kashmir.

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Security has been beefed up with physical frisking of pedestrians and checking of vehicles even as the authorities have put in place at least 50 drones in the valley alone for keeping surveillance over the roads and the venues of the I-Day ceremonies. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha would be hosting a banquet in the evening at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar. Earlier, he would be the chief guest at the UT’s main official I-Day ceremony at Sher-e-Kashmir International Cricket Stadium at Sonwar in Srinagar.

Cultural troupes would be presenting colourful variety programmes after the ceremonial parade, chief guests’ salute and address to the gathering at almost all the major venues.

 The Union Home Ministry on Saturday announced different meritorious service and gallantry medals for the Police and the Central Armed Police Forces in different States and Union Territories. The UT of Jammu and Kashmir bagged the maximum number of gallantry awards.

 The Centre announced only two President’s Police Medals for Gallantry (PPMG). One went to Sub Inspector Amar Deep of the J&K Police and another posthumously to head constable Kale Sunil Dattatarya of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

 Among the 628 Police Medals for Gallantry (PMGs), as many as 256 were bagged by the J&K Police, followed by 150 to CRPF, 67 to the Police in Odisha, 25 to Maharashtra, 23 to ITBP and 21 to Chhattisgarh. The UT won a number of Ashok Chakra, Krti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awards.

 “Proud of bravery and sacrifices made by Jammu and Kashmir Police in defending the sovereignty of the country. Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra and 257 police gallantry medals to JKP at the forefront of fight against terrorism is commendable”, LG Manoj Sinha tweeted. “Sh. Babu Ram, ASI has been selected for this year's Ashok Chakra (posthumous), Sh. Altaf Hussain Bhat, Constable,won Kirti Chakra(posthumous), Sh. Shahbaz Ahmad, SPO has been selected for Shaurya Chakra (posthumous) for their act of bravery, valour & selfless sacrifice for motherland.”

The DGP J&K, Dilbag Singh, expressed his gratitude to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, LG Manoj Sinha and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla for due recognition of valour and sacrifices of Jammu and Kashmir officers/personnel for awarding them the highest ever number of Service and Gallantry medals on the eve of 75th Independence Day.

DGP has paid rich tributes to the fallen heroes, ASI Babu Ram, Constable Mohd Altaf Hussain and SPO Shahbaz Ahmad of JKP who brought honour and glory to the force in their sacrifice and service to the nation for which Ministry of Defence has awarded Country's highest peacetime honour, Ashok Chakra to Martyr ASI Babu Ram who made supreme sacrifice during an assault against holed up terrorists at Pantha Chowk last year,

Kirti Chakra has been announced for Constable Mohammad Altaf Hussain who sacrificed his life while saving the life of a Protected Person who was attacked by terrorists in Ganderbal and Shauriya Chakra to SPO Shahbaz Ahmad for his gallant action against terrorists in a counter-terrorist operation at Khrew, Awantipora, last year.

Ashok Chakra has been conferred on ASI Babu Ram who laid sacrifice of his life while chasing a group of three armed terrorists who had attacked a Police party at a checkpoint at Panta Chowk on 29 August 2020. The fleeing terrorists took shelter in a residential house in Dhobi Mohalla of Panta Chowk. ASI Babu Ram pinned down the terrorists till reinforcements reached the spot and eliminated all the three terrorists in a fierce encounter. Babu Ram sustained fatal injuries and later succumbed at the local military hospital.

 ASI Babu Ram served in the counterinsurgent Special Operations Group of J&K Police, Srinagar, for a long time. He participated in 14 encounters in which 28 terrorists were killed.

Constable Altaf Hussain Bhat, a resident of Rathpora, Safakadal in Srinagar, was chosen for Kirti Chakra. He attained martyrdom while guarding a protected BJP leader at Nunar Ganderbal on 6 October 2020. In quick reaction to the terror attack, constable Altaf gunned down a Kashmiri militant but sustained fatal injuries. Later, he succumbed to injuries at SKIMS in Srinagar. The protected politician survived the attack.