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Mourning period over, still no clarity on J&K government

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Jammu/Srinagar: The week-long state mourning on the death of J&K chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed ended on Wednesday, but the stalemate on government formation continued.

The state government had announced a seven-day mourning for Sayeed, who passed away on January 7 at AIIMS in New Delhi.

Despite a statement by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief spokesman Mehboob Beg on Tuesday that Mehbooba Mufti would be sworn-in as the chief minister of the state anytime after the official mourning ended, there was no word yet on government formation from Mehbooba, who is also the PDP president.

Asked to comment on the party spokesman’s statement, former education minister and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar told IANS: “We have not started formal deliberations on government formation yet.”

“I can only comment on government formation when formal deliberations are started by our party.”

Meanwhile, former state deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh of the coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party said in Jammu: “The call has to come from the PDP.”

“We were asked by the governor to respond on government formation. We wrote to the governor that the response of the party (BJP) would be communicated after the PDP comes forth to stake claim on government formation,” he said.

Sources in the PDP said Mehbooba Mufti has not spoken to anybody on government formation or becoming the chief minister in the state after Sayeed’s death.

Same sources said against the background of the PDP president not seeking or undertaking any consultations on government formation, the views expressed by party spokesman Mehboob Beg could best be described as “personal views of Mehboob Beg”. (IANS)

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Republic Day functions pass off peacefully in J&K

Reports of peaceful Republic Day celebrations have also come from different district headquarters of the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh regions

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Smartly turned out contingents of army, paramilitary forces, state police and school children participated in the parade. Pixabay
Smartly turned out contingents of army, paramilitary forces, state police and school children participated in the parade. Pixabay
  • Peaceful Republic Day celebrations amid heightened security in J&K
  • Hoisting function and ceremonial parade were held at Maulana Azad Stadium
  • Mobile phone services were suspended as a precautionary measure

Amid heightened security, the Republic Day celebrations on Friday passed off peacefully in Jammu and Kashmir’s winter and summer capitals.

The main flag hoisting function and ceremonial parade were held at the Maulana Azad stadium in Jammu city where state governor N.N. Vohra unfurled the national flag and took the salute at an impressive parade.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, her cabinet colleagues, Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta, high court judges and senior army police and civil officials were also present at the function.

ALSO READ: India faces more threats to its republic today than it did 66 years ago

People from across the social spectrum and school children also participated in country’s 69th Republic Day celebrations.

Cultural programmes by school children was a highlight of this year's Republic Day celebrations both in Jammu city and different district headquarters of the state. Pixabay
Cultural programmes by school children was a highlight of this year’s Republic Day celebrations both in Jammu city and different district headquarters of the state. Pixabay

In Srinagar city, the main function was held at the Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium where Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri hoisted the Tricolour and took the salute at the parade.

Extraordinary security arrangements had been made this year for the Republic Day celebrations amid intelligence inputs that a non-local female suicide militant had entered Srinagar.

ALSO READ: Election Commission to participate in Republic Day parade

Mobile phone services were suspended in the Valley as a precautionary measure, with the authorities saying they would be restored in the afternoon.

Reports of peaceful Republic Day celebrations have also come from different district headquarters of the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh regions.

Separatists had called for a shutdown across the Valley to attract international attention to the Kashmir dispute. (IANS)

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