First time in history, Jammu and Kashmir gives skip to martyrs’ day

For the first time since 1948, there will be no holiday and official functions to commemorate martyrs’ day in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

“In December last year, the list of gazetted holidays had no mention of martyrs’ day on July 13 and December 5, the birth anniversary of former J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. Therefore, the question doesn’t arise of holding any official function or declaring a holiday on Monday,” said a senior official.

Following the revocation of Article 370 on August 5 last year, the government had issued a list of gazette holidays for the newly carved union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. However, July 13 and December 5 were omitted from the list inviting an outcry by the Kashmir centric parties.

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The then prime minister of J&K, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had declared July 13 as martyrs’ day in memory of those who revolted against the Dogra rule on July 13, 1931. Twenty-two people were killed in the protest against the then Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.

While Kashmir commemorated the day as martyrs’ day and chief minister, ministers and DGPs used to pay tributes at the official programmes across the then state of J&K, in recent years Jammu had started observing it as a ‘black’ day.

Pro-Jammu parties used to hold protest rallies wearing black armbands to express their resentment against the decision of successive Kashmir centric governments.

The parties also included Kashmiri Pandits, who called July 13, 1931, as the first-ever communal attack on religious minorities in J&K.

In the new list of gazette holidays, the government, however, declared October 26 as a gazetted holiday. On this day in 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the “Instrument of Accession” with the dominion of India.

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