Srinagar: The civil administration of Ladakh has dropped two official holidays that were observed in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir from its 2020 calendar, the administration said Thursday.
The excluded holidays are the birth anniversary of National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah on 5 December and Martyrs’ Day on 13 July, which used to be a state holiday.
Abdullah, also the former prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir, is considered one of the most prominent leaders of the former state and responsible for its accession to the Union of India. Given the title of ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ by his followers, Abdullah has several government institutions, infrastructure and facilities named after him.
Ladakh’s administration has also dropped the state holiday of 13 July, which is observed as Martyrs’ Day or Shuhada Ka Din by both mainstream Kashmiri politicians as well as separatists. On that day in 1931, 22 Kashmiri Muslims were killed while protesting against the Dogra regime.
Over the years, however, Jammu’s activists and politicians have demanded both days be dropped as a state holiday, as they believe the Hindu minorities suffered in the hands of Abdullah and were persecuted on Martyrs’ Day .
It remains to be seen whether the government of Jammu and Kashmir will also follow the suit.