It is an unusually sultry morning in Srinagar, as several batches of Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and paramilitary stand smartly in the Sher-I-Kashmir Stadium for the full dress rehearsal, ahead of the Indpendence Day on August 15.
This is the first big government function since the abrogation of Article 370. The clampdown has continued for the ninth day, but multi tier security with CRPF and JK Police guarding the venue at Sonwar Bagh.
The Sher-I- Kashmir Stadium was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in 1983. The venue also saw international matches in 1983 and 1987 with the Indian team playing West Indies and Australia respectively. Some old timers talk nostalgically of the matches.