SRINAGAR — After not being allowed to visit the martyrs’ graveyard at Naqashbandh Sahab Srinagar to pay tribute to 13 July, 1931 martyrs, the top political parties including National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party organized closed door functions and paid homage to the martyrs.

PDP President and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to vent her ‘anger’, saying that, “Today on the occasion of Martyr’s Day, gates leading to their graveyards have been locked up. Attempts to distort & rewrite Kashmir’s history is being done only to create a sense of defeat & helplessness amongst Kashmiris.”

She further wrote: “Nevertheless as we pay homage to the heroes of 13th July, 1931, our resolve to strive for restoration of J&K’s dignity remains firm.”

PDP senior leader and former Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that they were left with no option but to organize a function at their party headquarters to pay respect to 13 July martyrs. “These martyrs laid down their lives just to drag us from darkness to light. Why it has now become a crime to pay respect to these martyrs. We will always commemorate this day, come what may,” he said.

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Several PDP leaders including Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Nayeem Akhtar and others participated in the function to pay tribute to 13 July martyrs.

National Conference patron, Dr Farooq Abdullah also presided a function at party headquarters Nawa-i-Subha to pay glorious tribute to 13 July martyrs. The function was attended by top National Conference leaders including Ali Muhammad Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani and Dr Mustafa Kamal.

Meanwhile, all roads leading to martyrs’ graveyard were blocked and nobody was allowed to enter into the graveyard.

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National Conference said the administration had denied permission to offer homage today. Instead, party president and ex-J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah held a meeting at the party’s headquarters to commemorate the day.

“July 13, 1931, marks the assertion of JK’s identity and rights of its people. The martyrs of July 13 will continue to be a beacon of light for us and for the coming generations. Heroes forever!” Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah’s son and also a former chief minister, said in a tweet.

This is the second consecutive year that no function has been allowed. Last year, which was the first July 13 celebration since Article 370 was scrapped, there was no official ceremony.

Traditionally, the head of the government attends the ceremony and lays a wreath at the graveyard, and a police contingent marks the occasion with a gun salute.

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