LAHORE - Like other parts of the country, black day was observed in the provincial capital on India’s Independence Day on Thursday.

Political parties and religious groups, government and non-government organizations rallied in parts of the city to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Black flags were hoisted on important public and private buildings including Jinnah Hall. Kashmir flags were also hoisted on large number of buildings. Major markets also remained closed.

Carrying Pakistan and Kashmir flags along with black ones and banners inscribed with writings in support of Kashmiris, the participants predominantly clad in green dress and wearing black ribbons on arms chanted slogans against India. Indian flags and effigies of Indian Prime Minister Narindra Modi were also burnt.

Dozens of rallies and unprecedented public participation led to massive traffic jams on important roads including The Mall, Canal Bank Road, Ferozepur Road, Sir Agha Khan Road, Nicholson Road and adjoining arteries.

Protesters joined the main rally that started from Governor House and culminated outside Punjab Assembly.

Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Prof Khalid Masood Gondal led a rally from Mayo Hospital to Governor House. Faculty members, healthcare providers and people from various walks of life participated in the rally.

Principal Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI)/Lahore General Hospital Prof Alfareed Zafar and Executive Director Punjab Institute of Neuro Sciences (PINS) Prof Khalid Mehmood led a rally from the healthcare facility that ultimately joined the main rally. Faculty members, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff wearing black ribbons on their arms participated in the rally to vent anger against ethnic cleansing in the held valley.

Speaking on the occasion Prof Alfareed Zafar and Prof Khalid Mahmood said India has crossed all limits and violated international principles for suppressing innocent Muslims in the occupied territory. They said that it was high time to raise voice and inform the world community about the prevailing scenario. They expressed hope that the Kashmir would soon get freedom from illegal occupation.

Similar rallies were taken out from other medical institutions to express solidarity with oppressed people of Kashmir.

PML-N women wing staged a demonstration outside Lahore Press Club and set to fire an effigy of Modi and Indian flag. The women led by MPA Rabia Farooqi were raising slogans against Indian occupation of Kashmir and Imran government’s alleged cowardly stance in the face of Indian attempt to annex Kashmir. They called for an urgent measure to force India back out of Kashmir.