Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik skipped the official function at martyrs’ graveyard on Saturday and instead his local advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai and Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan paid floral tributes to 22 Kashmiris who were killed on this day in 1931 in firing by forces of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.
Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, MP from Srinagar constituency, his senior National Conference (NC) colleagues and leaders of different mainstream political parties paid tributes to martyrs at Naqashband Sahib in the downtown under unprecedented security arrangements. All roads leading to graveyard were closed and only mainstream leaders were being allowed to visit the graveyard.
This was the second successive year Governor of the state skipped the official function. Last year, then Governor N N Vohra also stayed away from the function though he paid tributes to martyrs in 2017. BJP and other Jammu based parties are opposing any official function at Martyrs’ graveyard. Even during PDP-BJP coalition government, no BJP minister attended the function.
Mr Malik skipped the function today. Though in a message on Friday on the eve of martyrs’ day, he called for collective efforts from all sections of the society to secure rapid growth and development of the state on all fronts.
He had said the state has always been known for its glorious pluralistic ethos and harmony and emphasised the crucial importance of maintaining unity and brotherhood for ushering the state towards peace and prosperity.
Mr Ganai laid floral wreaths on the graves of martyrs.
Separatist leaders, including moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Mirwaz Omar Farooq, were placed under house arrest to prevent them from visiting the graveyard. The separatists have called for a shutdown as a mark of respect to the martyrs’ of 1931 and to press for resolution of the Kashmir issue.