Other States

In J&K, BJP skips Martyrs’ Day function

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed offers prayers at the Mazar-e-Shohda (Martyrs’ graveyard) in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed offers prayers at the Mazar-e-Shohda (Martyrs’ graveyard) in Srinagar on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

Coalition partner PDP terms action ‘inappropriate’

For the first time in Jammu & Kashmir, a ruling party has refused to be part of the official Martyrs’ Day function that pays homage to the 22 Kashmiris who were killed by the forces of Dogra Maharaja in 1931.

The BJP skipped the function saying that the function at the Martyrs’ Graveyard had no relevance to the party.

“The 1931 martyrs have no relevance for our party. If Kashmir-based political parties do not attend the functions we hold in memory of our leaders like Syama Prasad Mookerjee, why should we attend their Martyrs’ Day,” BJP’s Kashmir spokesperson Khalid Jehangir asked on Monday.

Martyrs’ Day is observed annually as a State function to pay homage to the 22 people who were killed in firing by the soldiers of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh in the city’s Central Jail on July 13, 1931. It is also seen as the ‘first major political gathering by Kashmiri Muslims against the Dogra rule’ in Kashmir.

Coalition partner, the Peoples Democratic Party, embarrassed by the BJP Ministers skipping the function, called the action “inappropriate.”

“To attend the official function to pay respects to the martyrs was an obligation that the Ministers ought to have fulfilled and any deviation from such a precedent was inappropriate,” PDP spokesperson Mehboob Beg said.

Mr. Beg said the martyrs belonged to the State and not to any particular religion, region, caste or creed and their sacrifices must not be forgotten or belittled.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed visited the graveyard along with several top leaders of the National Conference and the Congress to pay homage to the martyrs.

After laying wreaths on the graves, Mr. Sayeed spoke about the need for peace between India and Pakistan and mentioned the recent meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at Ufa in Russia. “Both India and Pakistan have to resolve their differences by talking to each other for lasting peace in the region,” Mr. Sayeed said.

Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference had called for a people’s rally to the martyr’s graveyard on Monday. While the resistance leaders were put under house arrest, several areas of the old city were put under curfew.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 8:23:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-jk-bjp-skips-martyrs-day-function/article7418156.ece

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