Disappointed with the removal of National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah's birth anniversary from Jammu and Kashmir's official holiday calendar, the party on Saturday has sought review on the same. The list released by the Jammu and Kashmir administration excluded Sheikh Abdullah's birth anniversary, Martyrs' Day and added 'Accession Day' to the list of 27 public holidays. The removal of the two significant dates in the history of the Valley has triggered a backlash from several political outfits including - CPI (M).
According to the list issued late on Friday night by G L Sharma, the deputy secretary of the General Administration Department, 27 public holidays will be observed throughout the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, compared to 28 in the previous calendar year. Two public holidays -Martyrs' Day observed on July 13 and the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah on December 5 - have been dropped from the list of holidays for the year 2020, the order stated. However, October 26 is on the list of public holidays for the next year as Accession Day.
Accession Day is celebrated on October 26 to mark the day Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India in 1947. It was duly accepted a day later by Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor-General of India. Meanwhile, Martyrs' Day is observed in Jammu and Kashmir on July 13 every year in remembrance of people killed by soldiers of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh during protests against his rule in 1931.
Sheikh Abdullah - the founder of National Conference, the second Prime Minister of Jammu-Kashmir was most known for his agitation against the Maharaja, urging for self-rule. Moreover, after he was arrested for his 'Quit Kashmir' movement, he was made head of the state once J&K seceded to India, only to be jailed for 11 years for conspiracy. Later in 1975, he was elected as the J&K chief minister and remained in power till 1982.
The Centre recently extended the NC patron Farooq Abdullah's detention was extended by another three months under the Public Safety Act (PSA). While several minor political leaders have been released from detention, prominent mainstream leaders - Mehbooa Mufti, Omar Abdullah, Sajid Lone, etc remained detained in Jammu and Kashmir till a date which the Centre claims will be decided by the local administration. Since the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the State into two Union Territories, the Valley continues to be under lockdown.