In a first, no official function held to mark Martyrs’ Day in J&K

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SRINAGAR — For the first time since 1948, there was no holiday and official function to commemorate the Martyrs’ Day in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that the official function to commemorate the Martyrs’ Day was not held as the official holiday of July 13 in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was omitted after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A in August last year.

A senior official said that in December last year, the list of gazetted holidays had no mention of Martyrs’ Day on July 13, which was observed in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir to pay homage to July 13, 1931 martyrs.

Regional political parties used to pay homage to the martyrs on this day while the successive governments would organize official functions to commemorate this day in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Kashmir would commemorate July 13 as Martyrs’ Day and chief minister, ministers and DGPs used to pay tributes at the official programmes across the then State of J&K.

However, following the revocation of Article 370 on August 05 last year, the government had issued a list of gazetted holidays for the newly carved Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir wherein July 13 was omitted from the list.

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.

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December 05, the birth anniversary of former J&K Prime Minister Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was also omitted from the list of official holidays in December last year.

In the new list of gazetted 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.

Meanwhile, National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), People’s Conference (PC), CPI (M) and Apni Party paid tributes to the July 13 martyrs by issuing party statements.

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