SRINAGAR: For the first time in 74 years, Jammu and Kashmir administration installed LED screens at vital locations in Srinagar displaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech live.
Projectors were installed at TRC crossing, Jehangir Chowk and some other parts of Srinagar. “The prime minister’s speech was displayed live on the big screens. This was for the first time that PM’s I-Day speech was displayed live on big screens in Srinagar areas,” an unnamed official was quoted saying by a local news gatherer. “Big screens were fixed at various points in Srinagar.”
This was the first I-Day in Jammu and Kashmir as a UT. On August 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was stripped off the special status of erstwhile status guaranteed under Article 370 and sliced the erstwhile state into two Union Territories—Ladakh and J&K.
Kashmir, however, remained under a tight security blanket. Though the security drill was there for many days, it was beefed up on Friday after the militants killed two cops and left one injured. Kashmir remained mostly home and only officials having special permissions to move around were seen in most of the uptown areas.
In his 86-minute speech, Prime Minister Modi termed the year as “a year of a dignified life of refugees in Jammu and Kashmir.” He made references to the political process.
“This one year is a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir. Delimitation process is underway in Jammu and Kashmir. Once it is completed, an election will be held in the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir will have its own chief minister and ministers. We are committed to this,” the PM said. “The true strength of democracy is in local units. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the public representatives of local units in Jammu and Kashmir are pursuing a new era of development with activism and sensitivity.”
Prime Minister mentioned Ladakh too. “Ladakh is on the path to progress, a new central university is coming up a 7500 MW solar park is coming up and just as Sikkim has become an organic state, Ladakh should aim for that as well. Leh, Kargil and Ladakh can become carbon neutral regions,” he said.
Mentioning the Chinese intervention on the Ladakh borders, Prime Minister said: “Protecting India’s sovereignty is of prime importance to us. What we can do and our soldiers can do to protect this sovereignty, the world has seen with the events in Ladakh.”