First time since 1948, no official function held to commemorate Martyrs’ Day in J&K
Srinagar: For the first time in the post-1947 history of Jammu and Kashmir, no official function was held to commemorate Martyrs’ Day observed on July 13 every year in memory of those killed in firing by soldiers of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh in 1931.
In a break from past, there was no function at the Martyrs’ graveyard here after the government dropped July 13 from the list of gazetted holidays last year, officials said.
The holidays on July 13 as well as on December 05 – the birth anniversary of National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah – were dropped after the abrogation of Article 370 by the Centre on August 05 last year.
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the then prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir, had declared July 13 as a holiday in 1948.
Apart from the official function at the Martyrs’ graveyard, mainstream political leaders also used to visit it to pay homage to the 22 Kashmiris who were killed in Dogra army’s firing while protesting the autocratic rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.
The officials said no mainstream political leader visited the graveyard on Monday in view of the strict restrictions imposed in most parts of Kashmir to contain the spread of coronavirus infection.
A National Conference (NC) leader, however, said the party had applied for permission to visit the Martyrs’ graveyard, but there was no response from the district administration.
Meanwhile, National Conference, Peoples Conference, Peoples Democratic Party and CPI(M) have paid tributes to the martyrs.