As the abrogation of Article 370 completed its one year on August 5, hundreds of Gujjars, Bakarwals and other Kashmiri sightseers from Kupwara, Tangdhar and Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir celebrated Bangus Awaam Mela, rejecting Pakistan’s efforts to create a false narrative about abrogation of Article 370.
The Annual Fair saw participation with great fanfare for two days since it kicked off on August 3.
Rustic games like horse racing, sheep herding, Tug of War and Wood Chopping competitions were organized on the first day in which the Gujjar, Bakerwal communities from various Bhaiks living in the meadows during the summer months actively participated.
On the request of senior community members, a veterinary and medical camp was also organized by the local Rashtriya Rifles unit. A total of 679 patients including 49 children were given treatment, advice and free medicines by the doctors. The veterinary camp provided medical aid to 135 livestock in addition to surgical assistance to the wounded.
The Annual Fair was organized by the unit of Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, who was among five security forces personnel killed during an encounter with terrorists in north Kashmir. Ashutosh Sharma was the second Commanding Officer of the 21 Rashtriya Rifles who lost his life while combating terrorists in May this year.
On the second day of the festival, the audience enjoyed folk songs by the Gujjar community, patriotic songs by local children, dances and a Karate Display by the Handwara Kudo Association in addition to the finals of the village games.
The event culminated with the National Anthem and a vote of thanks by the community elders to the Army for their support.