Civil society members for the first time came in large numbers to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar

The 73rd Republic Day was celebrated with pomp and show in Kashmir where for the first time in the political history of the region, tricolour was unfurled at the famous Clock Tower of Srinagar's ‘Lal Chowk’, also known as ‘Ghanta Ghar’.

The flag was hoisted by the people from all sections of the society amid peace and tranquility. The event was marked by the presence of Srinagar Municipal Corporation corporators, school children, NCC cadets and security forces officials.

People in Kashmir expressed their happiness that hoisting a tricolour at Lal Chowk in Srinagar was a dream which has now come true.

“This is a historical event for us all. It was our dream to hoist the national flag here and we fulfilled it today. Earlier many people attempted to unfurl the flag here but they couldn't do so, we had to create history and we did it and this is what ‘Naya Kashmir’ stands for,” Sajid Bashir, an activist, said.

Javed Baig, a social worker, said, “Last three decades of conflict had created a sense of hopelessness among the masses. Today, we gave a strong message to the world that the youth of Kashmir want peace. Hundreds of people, from all age groups, are present here today which implies that people now anticipate change.”

“If we talk about the past, many big names have attempted to raise tricolour on clock tower but could never succeed,” Baig added.

On the other hand, Sajid Yusuf, another activist, said, “It gives us immense happiness to perform this act at a place where many people failed to unfurl the flag. This was the only place which didn't have the National flag.”

“Since the Independence of India, this was the only place which did not have the National flag. I decided to do this, and we have done it. A lot of people tried it earlier, but we were the only ones successful. As an Indian we have unfurled the flag here and it’s given us happiness” said Sajid Yousuf, another activist.

Earlier, while addressing the Republic Day function in Jammu, J&K LT Governor Manoj Sinha said utmost efforts are being made to take the UT to new heights of progress.

He said the UT is on the path of everlasting peace, progress and development but some people continue to instigate people as they aren’t happy with development.

In his address, LG also said that UT is all set to get an industrial investment breakthrough very soon.

“Rs 25000 Cr investment boost is expected in the month of February”, he said. He also highlighted various milestones the UT has achieved so far.