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Politicians pay floral tributes to 1931 martyrs

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Guv’s Advisor represents state in paying tributes

Srinagar, Jul 13: Governor Satya Pal Malik Saturday skipped the official function at the Martyrs’ graveyard in Srinagar and instead deputed his advisor for paying homage to the people killed in firing by forces of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh on this day in 1931.

Malik’s predecessor N N Vohra had also skipped the official function last year but did pay homage to the martyrs of 1931 in 2017.

However, Malik in his Friday’s message on the eve of Martyrs’ Day called for collective efforts from all sections of the society to secure rapid growth and development of the state on all fronts.

The Governor said Jammu and Kashmir has always been known for its glorious pluralistic ethos and harmony and emphasised the crucial importance of maintaining unity and brotherhood for ushering the state towards peace and prosperity.

The first to arrive at the Martyrs graveyard in Khwaja Bazar, Naqashband Sahib area of old city Srinagar was Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Advisor to the Governor. Ganai offered ‘Fateha’ prayers and laid floral wreaths on the graves of the 22 people who were killed in firing while protesting against the autocratic rule of Maharaja Hari Singh on this day in 1931.

Others who paid tributes included Farooq Abdullah, president of National Conference, G.A. Mir, state president of Congress party, M.Y.Tarigami, state secretary of CPI-M, Engineer Rashid, president of Awami Ittehad Party, and Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen, chief of Peoples Democratic Front.

Separatist leaders, including Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaz Umar Farooq, were placed under house-arrest to prevent them from visiting the graveyard.

The separatists had called for a shutdown as a mark of respect to the martyrs’ of 1931 and to press for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Authorities had imposed restrictions on the movement of people in the old city as a “precautionary measure for maintaining law and order,” officials said.

Meanwhile, in Jammu, several organisations representing Kashmiri Pandit migrants observed July 13 as ‘Black Day’, saying on this day in 1931 the community faced “persecution” in the Kashmir Valley.

Members of the organisations held a demonstration outside the Raj Bhawan in Jammu, even as Martyrs’ Day was observed in Jammu and Kashmir.

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