Erasure of ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ sparks furore

Parties protest govt. order dropping title from police awards

Regional parties on Monday took strong note of the J&K administration’s decision to drop the title ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ from police awards, named after National Conference (NC) founder Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah.

NC district president Peer Afaq accused the Union Territory administration of “moves to trim every single symbol of J&K’s political individuality”.

“This administration is after the Sheikh because he is central figure of J&K and will continue to remain so. Such distortions are aimed at changing the history and will not work,” Mr. Afaq said.

“The words ‘Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry and Sher-i-Kashmir police medal for meritorious service’ shall henceforth be read as ‘Jammu and Kashmir police medal for gallantry and Jammu and Kashmir police medal for meritorious service,” reads the order issued by Principal Secretary, Home Department, Shaleen Kabra.

Mr. Abdullah, who earned the title ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ (Lion of Kashmir) for working towards a secular and democratic State, was the main political figure in J&K in 1947, who supported the accession of the State with the Union of India and rejected Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory.

‘Very disturbing’

Senior CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami termed the order “highly disturbing”.

“No words are enough to condemn such foolish orders of the administration. By removing names of great leaders like Sheikh sahib, they cannot succeed. Sheikh sahib is a historic personality and his contribution to the history of Kashmir cannot be erased,” said Mr. Tarigami.

Unhappy with the decision, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Muzaffar Baig said, “Sheikh was the tallest leader J&K has produced. I have tremendous respect for him even if I have disagreement with his certain decisions. I don't know [by] who and why this decision was taken.”

The latest development comes just a month after Sheikh Abdullah’s birthday was dropped from the list of State holidays. The BJP in Jammu had then welcomes the move, saying, “the arbitrary name” has been dropped.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:49:15 PM |

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