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Martyrs’ Day strike hits Amarnath Yatra

July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir. On this day in 1931, 22 people were killed in firing by the forces of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. Separatists have called for a shutdown as a mark of respect to them.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2019 01:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Martyrs' day Kashmir,Amarnath Yatra,Pahalgam
As many as 12 batches of pilgrims have so far left for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley from Jammu since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 30.(PTI)

Pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath was suspended on Saturday as a precautionary measure in view of a separatists-sponsored strike in the Kashmir valley on Martyrs’ Day, officials said.

As many as 12 batches of pilgrims have so far left for the twin base camps of Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley from Jammu since the beginning of the pilgrimage on June 30. “Amarnath Yatra has been suspended from Jammu as a precautionary measure in wake of the strike called by separatists in Kashmir on Saturday,” said an official.

July 13 is observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir. On this day in 1931, 22 people were killed in firing by the forces of Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. Separatists have called for a shutdown as a mark of respect to them.

Due to the strike, normal life was severely affected in the valley as shops and other business establishments remained closed, while public transport remained off roads, the officials said.

The day is venerated by both mainstream politicians as well as separatists. However, governor Satya Pal Malik Saturday skipped the official function at the martyrs’ graveyard in Srinagar and instead deputed his advisor Khursheed Ahmad Ganai for paying homage.

Malik’s predecessor NN Vohra had also skipped the official function last year but did pay homage to the martyrs of 1931 in 2017.

Malik on Friday however called for collective efforts from all sections of the society to secure rapid growth and development of the state on all fronts. He said J&K 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.

When asked by why the governor skipped the function, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said: “Malik is the BJP’s governor. How could he come here?’’

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 01:25 IST