There was no exchange of sweets with Pakistani forces along the International Border (IB) and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Republic Day, officials said, amid the prevailing hostilities especially after the recent beheading of an Army porter by the enemy troops in Poonch.
Indian and Pakistani troops usually exchange sweets and greetings on their important national days and festivals. But the tradition has not been followed for the past few years due to Pakistan’s continued support to terrorism in the Union Territory and frequent ceasefire violations, the officials said.
They said there was no exchange of sweets and greetings on Republic day this year as well.
On January 10, Pakistan’s Border Action Team comprising regulars and terrorists, beheaded army porter Mohammad Aslam (28) and injured three others in an attack along the LoC in Gulpur sector of Poonch district.
Meanwhile, police and other security forces unfurled the national flag at various camps along the border and in the hinterland across Jammu region to mark the occasions.
At a function, BSF Inspector General N S Jamwal hoisted the national flag at frontier headquarters here and conveyed his warm wishes to all the border guards serving at the International Border and the LoC.
He reminded the Bordermen about the supreme sacrifices made by the freedom fighters to liberate the motherland from foreign rulers and also asked them not to forget the sacrifices made by their colleagues.
Jamwal later visited BSF hospital and distributed fruits and gifts to the patients, a BSF spokesman said, adding he wished them a speedy recovery and good health.
The spokesman said Republic Day was also celebrated by the BSF personnel deployed on International Border and LoC with equal enthusiasm.
“Men and officers pledged to continue to work for safeguarding and maintaining sanctity of borders and territorial integrity with full devotion,” he said.
A CRPF spokesman said the largest paramilitary force held the main function at Group Centre Bantalab in the outskirts of Jammu with Inspector General, Jammu sector, Charu Sinha unfurling the tricolour.
She read out the names of the recipients of medals and said the force is overwhelmed with the recognition of its professionalism and valour of its personnel.
Among the gallantry medals awarded to various forces, the CRPF earned one President’s Police Medal for Gallantry, 75 Police Medal for Gallantry, besides six President’s Police Medal for Distinguished service and 56 Police Medal for Meritorious service.
“The bravery of the force personnel deployed to combat terrorism in J&K and Insurgency in North-East and Naxalism in Central India is duly recognized. CRPF has walked a long way since its inception and displayed its bravery time and again,” the IG said.
The spokesman said similar functions were held at battalion headquarters and camps across Jammu region, where senior officers unfurled the national flag.
Army and Police also organized separate functions to celebrate the Republic Day and hoisted the national flag in all the 10 districts of Jammu region, officials said.