Activists of the All India Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust (AISSTMT) carrying the Tricolor to Kashmir for hoisting it on the Independence Day were on Monday stopped by the state police from stepping into the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The march was brought to a halt at Lakhanpur.

A strong contingent of armed police was deployed to stop the nearly 200 activists at Lakhanpur in the Kathua district that is the entry point to J&K from the Pathankot district of Punjab.

About 100 activists had started their journey to Srinagar from Ludhiana (Punjab) on Sunday for the purpose and were joined by nearly 100 more at Pathankot and places enroute. However, police barricaded the entry into J&K and did not let them enter the state.

A group of tricolor carrying youth squatted outside the excise and taxation office at Lakhanpur to seek entry in the state.

Ashok Thapar, a descendent of the martyr Sukhdev who was secretly hanged alongwith Bhagat Singh and Rajguru by the British rulers on 23 March 1931, lamented that the Modi government at the centre talks of “one India”, but we are not allowed to proceed to Srinagar to hoist the National Flag in the Lal Chowk.

Thapar said it was unfortunate that the government was cowed down by diktats of the Kashmiri separatists and terrorists and not allowing hoisting of the tricolor in the valley. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev got themselves hanged for prestige of the country and seventy years after the Independence we are not being allowed to proceed to Kashmir which is an integral part of India, he added.

However after lot of arguments the police allowed five activists to climb the excise and taxation office at Lakhanpur and hoist the flag on its roof, he said.