Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik skipped the Martyrs’ Day function in Srinagar on Saturday. However, his advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai and other administration officials visited the graveyard that is the site of the function and laid floral wreaths.
July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir, commemorating the deaths of 22 people killed when the forces of Maharaja Hari Singh opened fire on them on this day in 1931.
This is the second year that the head of the state has skipped the Martyrs’ Day function. Last year, then Governor N N Vohra too had skipped the ceremony.
While leaders from all mainstream political parties visited the graveyard on Saturday, the BJP, like previous years, again stayed away from the function.
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, after visiting the graveyard, said Malik was “BJP’s Governor”. “He is BJP’s Governor. How can he come?” Abdullah said.
A release by J&K administration on Friday had said that Governor Malik, on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day, has called for “collective efforts from all sections of the Society to secure rapid growth and development of the State on all fronts.”
“Jammu and Kashmir has always been known for its glorious pluralistic ethos and harmony and emphasized the crucial importance of maintaining unity and brotherhood for ushering the State towards peace and prosperity,” the release quoted Malik as saying.