Nirmal heckled at Hari Singh anniversary function

Karan Singh Says Govt Has No Reason To Deny A Holiday On His Father’s Anniversary; Celebrations Held Across Jammu

YOGESH SAGOTRA
Jammu, Publish Date: Sep 24 2017 12:19AM | Updated Date: Sep 24 2017 12:19AM
Nirmal heckled at Hari Singh anniversary functionGK Photo

People of Jammu province, the Dogra community largely, and the ruling alliance partner BJP, celebrated the 123rd birth anniversary of the state’s last Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh.

Several programmes, including rallies by armed men, were organised in Jammu by members of Rajput Sabah and Team Jammu.

Wearing black T-shirts, saffron mufflers, traditional Dogra headgear and carrying saffron flags, swords and licensed guns, the participants marched in open jeeps and motorcycles.

The rally ended at Tawi bridge crossing, where the main event was organised.

On the occasion, the participants criticised the PDP-BJP government for failing to declare September 23 as a public holiday in the state.

The gathering heckled deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh as soon as he arrived at the venue.

“The deputy chief minister was trying to speak after paying floral tributes to the Maharaja’s statue but people shouted slogans against him and the PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir,” said a police officer, who escorted the deputy chief minister.

The minister had to cut short his speech and was escorted out by a large contingent of police. The protesters also demanded the minister's resignation and accused the BJP of doing disservice to Jammu region. 

The Dogra community members also blocked the deputy CM's cavalcade.

Demand for declaring the late maharaja’s birthday as state holiday has been gaining momentum in Jammu region. The Legislative Council in January adopted a resolution to this effect in January. But, apparently, there is no agreement between the two ruling parties.

Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh and scion of Dogra royal family, expressed dismay over the issue.

In a statement, Karan said, “ I am deeply disappointed that despite a widespread and long-standing public demand throughout Jammu region for a public holiday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of my respected father, the J&K government chose to ignore this, thus deeply hurting the sentiment of Jammu region.”

“If Kashmir’s sentiments are respected by making Sheikh Abdullah’s birthday a public holiday, there is no reason why Jammu’s sentiment should not be equally respected,” the statement read.

“This does not bode well for the unity and welfare of the state of the state,” he said.

Meanwhile, state BJP organised a function at Bahu Fort and paid floral tributes to the late maharaja.

The ceremony was organized by BJP district president Baldev Singh Baloria, while Nirmal, Speaker Assembly Kavinder Gupta, minister Priya Sethi, MLC Charanjit Singh Khalsa, Vikram Randhawa and senior BJP leader Rajeev Charak paid floral tributes to the maharaja.

The lawyers affiliated to the Jammu Bar Association stayed away from work and organised a programme within the court premises to celebrate the contribution of the Maharaja throughout Jammu province. 

Team Jammu also celebrated Maharaja Hari Singh’s birthday across Jammu Province by distributing Halwa and sweets from Poonch to Lakhanpur and Kishtwar to Arnia.

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) organised a function to pay homage to last ruler of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, NPP chief and former minister Harsh Dev Singh asked his grandsons Ajatshatru and Vikramaditya to resign from their respective political parties in protest against the state government’s “contemptuous denial” to declare the day as a public holiday.