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Sheikh Muhamad Abdullah’s relatives not allowed to offer prayers on his 114th birth anniversary

MP Hasnain Masoodi pays tribute to National Conference Founder and former CM Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his birth anniversary at his grave at Naseem Bagh-Hazratbal in Srinagar on Thursday.

MP Hasnain Masoodi pays tribute to National Conference Founder and former CM Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his birth anniversary at his grave at Naseem Bagh-Hazratbal in Srinagar on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

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Prohibitory orders around memorial

The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir imposed Section 144 around the mausoleum of National Conference (NC) founder Sheikh Muhamad Abdullah on his 114th birth anniversary on Thursday and barred family members, including incarcerated son Farooq Abdullah and grandson Omar Abdullah, to offer any congregational prayers on the occasion.

“We were allowed to visit the mausoleum in twos only. There were concertina wires placed on all streets leading to the graveyard. We were not allowed any congregational prayers for the first time,” said a NC spokesman.

No vehicle or a group of people were allowed to head towards the grave, according to the locals. A police officer told The Hindu that the police were asked to impose Section 144 in the area.

Sheik Abdullah’s elder daughter Khalida Shah claimed she was not allowed to offer prayers at the grave. “It was painful. Why would the authorities stop us even from praying at the grave? It seems even the dead send shivers down the spine of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Ms. Shah, who is a member of the Awami Nationalist Party.

However, Ms. Shah’s sister Suraya Abdullah, who is not into politics, managed to reach the grave.

After visiting it in the morning, NC leader and Anantnag MP Hasnain Masoodi said, “Thousands of people would gather here to pay respects. Sheikh sahib was the face of the force that fought against the autocracy of Dogra regime. He fought against the yoke of communalism, colonialism and feudalism. Today, we are observing his birthday when J&K stands at the crossroads.” Referring to the Centre's move to revoke J&K's special status, MP Masoodi said,“People of Kashmir have expressed their protest against the removal of Kashmir’s autonomy and statehood with acts of civil disobedience, which are still on.”

Meanwhile, the birth anniversary was marked as a holiday in J&K.

In a departure from the past, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu decided against issuing any statement or paying any tributes to the former Prime Minister of the erstwhile State of J&K on the occasion.

Sources said the Lt. Governor also decided against attending the 37th Annual Day function of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura (SKIMS). The hospital was named after the NC founder. However, the advisors to the Lieutenant Governor, K.K. Sharma and Farooq Khan, attended the function.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:42:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sheikh-muhamad-abdullahs-kin-not-allowed-to-offer-prayers-on-his-114th-birth-anniversary/article30197359.ece

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