Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and across the world on Sunday observed Indian Republic Day as ‘black day’ in protest against India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.Call for the observance of the black day was given by All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, and other Hurriyat leaders and organizations, including Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat forum. The day was marked with a complete strike in Occupied Kashmir, and anti-India demonstrations and rallies in world capitals, the Kashmir Media Service reported. This year, the observance of the black day is also aimed at registering a protest against the continued lockdown of Occupied Kashmir imposed by India since August 5 last year. Meanwhile, stringent measures in the name of security were taken on India’s Republic Day for bringing more miseries to the already-besieged people in the occupied territory. Indian troops intensified checking and frisking in Srinagar city and other parts of the territory.While the Kashmir Valley remains under strict military lockdown on 175th straight day, Indian troops and police personnel have been deployed in strength to keep a watch on the movement of people. The forces’ personnel have set up checkpoints on every road and square, where commuters and pedestrians were being frisked and vehicles checked thoroughly. In Srinagar, all roads leading towards a cricket stadium, where the main function of 26th January was scheduled to be held, were sealed with barbed wire, and barricades placed around the stadium. Unprecedented arrangements were made in and around the stadium, and the Indian forces also used quad copter drones fitted with cameras for surveillance. A close vigil was maintained on all vehicles and pedestrians entering the city. Police personnel could be seen carrying out surprise checking of the vehicles on the entry and exit points in the summer capital. The cops were also frisking motorcyclists and passengers of vehicles in the city. Similar reports emerged from other parts of the territory. The occupation authorities ordered closure of all tuition and coaching centres as well as computer institutions.Syed Ali Geelani, in a statement issued in Srinagar, said that India was not a real democratic country, as it had been suppressing the Kashmiris’ voice through military might for the past over 72 years. Hurriyat leaders Engineer Hilal Ahmad War and Muhammad Shafi Lone in their statements in Srinagar said that no law could justify the presence of Indian troops in the occupied territory. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League and Jammu and Kashmir Warseen-e-Shuhada also resented India’s Republic Day celebrations in Kashmir.The All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter held a protest demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to mark the Indian Republic Day as black day. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with anti-India slogans.Over in Lahore, a protest rally organised by the APHC-AJK was held outside local press club to condemn the forced occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India. The rally was led by APHC-AJK leader Engineer Mushtaq Mahmood. Another rally led by Pir Panjal Peace Foundation Convener Mahmood Qureshi was taken out in Kotli, Azad Kashmir.Hurriyat AJK leaders and representatives including Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Altaf Ahmad Butt, Abdul Majid Mir, Imtiaz Wani and Mushtaq Ahmad Butt in their statements in Islamabad said that India being illegal occupier of Kashmir had no right to celebrate its Republic Day in Occupied Kashmir. On the other hand, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism in Occupied Kashmir martyred three Kashmiri youth in Pulwama district.The troops martyred the youth during a siege and search operation at Hariparigam in Tral area of the district. Earlier, three Indian soldiers were injured during an attack in the same area. The military operation was going on when the last reports came in.