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Votaries of Uttarakhand celebrates victory

Rajendra Bansal/Dehra Dun
The Pioneer / August 2, 2000

Emerging from a long dark tunnel of pessimism and despair, the votaries of separate Uttarakhand state took out victory processions and indulged in festivities throughout the region on Wednesday to celebrate the passage of the Uttarakhand Bill (Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill-2000) in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

However, residents of Hardwar put up road blocks and staged a bandh there to protest against the inclusion of Hardwar district in the new state.

As soon as the news of clear passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha, paving the way for the formation of the separate Uttarakhand hill state, reached here on Tuesday evening, residents poured on to the streets in processions and congratulated each other on the birth of a new state of Uttarakhand.

Workers of various political parties, too, gathered at their respective party offices and distributed sweets.

Several organisations, including the Uttarakhand Joint Action Committee (UJAC), which had spearheaded the demand for a separate state of Uttarakhand, called upon the residents of Dehra Dun to celebrate “Diwali” on Wednesday night by decorating their houses with coloured lights.

Victory processions by several organisations were staged here on Wednesday, culminating at the district headquarters.

There the projectionists paid tributes to those killed during the various violent phases of the Uttarakhand agitation. Reports of celebrations have also come in from the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions of the Uttarakhand region.

Meanwhile, on a call given by the Hardwar Bachao Samiti and the Joint Action Committee, spearheading the movement against the inclusion of the district in Uttarakhand, most shops and business establishments, remained closed.

A number of trains and public carriers, including buses, were stopped by the agitationists, who had also put up road blocks at several places.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) led by Mahendra Singh Tikait started an indefinite dharna at the district headquarters at Hardwar in protest against Hardwar’s inclusion in the new hill state.

Road traffic was also disrupted and schools, colleges and cinema houses remained closed.

Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) decided not to take out any victory procession or participate in festivities in view of the killing of Amarnath pilgrims at Pahalgam, Kashmir.