Srinagar: The J&K administration on Monday under LG Manoj Sinha ordered to remove the image of J&K's first elected Prime minister, Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah embossed on one side of the police medal for Gallantry and Meritorious Service with ‘The National Emblem of Government of India’.
“It is hereby ordered that in modification to the Para 4 of the Jammu & Kashmir Police Medal Scheme, the Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah embossed on one side of the medal shall be replaced with "The National Emblem of Government of India” and the other side inscribed with the J&K State Emblem shall be inscribed as "Jammu and Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry" and "Jammu and Kashmir Police Medal for Meritorious Service' in case of Gallantry/Meritorious Medal, as the case may be,” reads an order by Principal Secretary, Home Department R K Goyal.
Earlier, in January 2020, the administration changed nomenclature of police medal for gallantry and police medal for meritorious service by removing the word 'Sher-i-Kashmir', a reference to the founder of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference.
However, the National Conference on Tuesday denounced the order and called it as the erasure of History.
National Conference State Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar called it an attempt to erase history and said that Sheikh Abdullah will continue to “rule the hearts and minds of people in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Stating that the actual change of nomenclature took place in 2019, Imran said, “Just to distract people from the Kashmiri Pandit protests and general failure of the JK administration, they are digging up old issues."
Sheikh Abdullah has remained the symbol of Kashmir's accession to the Union of India and a close friend of India's First PM Nehru.
It is Sheikh who was credited with driving tribal raiders out with the help of his volunteers and foiled their attempt to capture Kashmir in 1947 after India Pakistan were declared independent and partitioned.
He won a semi-autonomous status for Jammu and Kashmir state within independent India as an alternative for Plebiscite which was unilaterally scrapped on 5 august 2019.
After a tribal invasion, when the then King of Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed an Instrument of Accession with India that specified three subjects on which Jammu & Kashmir would transfer its power to the government of India: Foreign affairs, Defence, Communications, Kashmir was still dealing with political turmoil.
In March 1948, Hari Singh appointed an interim government in the state, with Sheikh Abdullah as prime minister as Sheikh was more popular among people than the King.
Sheikh had launched Quit Kashmir Movement in 1931 against the same king who appointed him as the prime minister when the accession was declared..
In July 1949, Sheikh Abdullah and three other colleagues joined the Indian Constituent Assembly and won the special status of J&K in the name of Article 370.
However, in 1953 he was dismissed and imprisoned. During the next 11 years he refused to pledge his loyalty to India and spent most of the time under detention. Then he was released by Nehru in 1964.
The first Prime minister was again arrested and was not released till 1968 until he was appointed as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir in 1975.