Srinagar- Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Thursday set out from his home on foot to reach the party office after police allegedly denied him escort vehicles and ITBP personnel cover.
Abdullah, the vice president of the National Conference (NC), was scheduled to address a function at the party headquarters, Nawa-i-Subah, to pay homage to 22 Kashmiri people who were killed by the army of a Dogra ruler on this day in 1931.
He alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir Police denied him his security escort vehicles and ITBP cover to visit the party headquarters.
There was no immediate response from the police.
Unfazed by the denial, Abdullah set out to the office near Zero Bridge on foot from his home in the Gupkar area of the city here, while a handful of his special security group personnel — a wing of J-K Police responsible for guarding VVIPs — were seen walking along with him.
The former J-K chief minister took to Twitter and posted a video of his walk to the office.
“Dear @JmuKmrPolice don’t think that refusing to give me my escort vehicles & ITBP cover will stop me. I’ll walk to where I have to get to & that’s exactly what I’m doing now,” Abdullah said.
After reaching office, where some of his party leaders and activists were waiting for him, the NC vice president said the “police would now send everything” for his security.
“Now that I’ve got to the office & will go ahead with my programme you will send everything. The fact is @JmuKmrPolice has stopped a lot of my senior colleagues from coming to the @JKNC_ office today by adopting the same tactics of stopping them in their homes. Notable amongst those stopped are Abdul Rahim Rather Sb, @AliMSagar_ Sb, Ali Mohd Dar Sb and others,” he said.
The NC said Abdullah was to address the party workers to pay tributes to the 1931 martyrs.
“Despite the restrictions placed on JKNC Vice President @OmarAbdullah, which denied him security vehicles and ITBP cover, he chose to walk from his home to the Nawai Subh office. His purpose was to address the party workers who had gathered there to pay their heartfelt tributes to the 1931 Martyrs,” the party said in a tweet.
July 13 was a public holiday in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and a grand official function was held every year on this day where the chief minister or the governor would be the chief guest.
However, the governor administration dropped the day from the list of gazetted holidays in 2020, after the abrogation of Article 370 and splitting of the erstwhile state into Union territories by the Centre on August 5, 2019.
Apart from the official function at the Martyrs’ graveyard, mainstream political leaders also used to visit it to pay homage to the 22 Kashmiris who fell to the bullets of the Dogra army while protesting the autocratic rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.
For these last few years, the political parties have alleged that their movement was restricted on the day and they were not allowed to visit the graveyard in the city.
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