Politics heated up in Jammu and Kashmir after the Union Territory government announced to remove the image of National Conference founder and former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, from the J&K Police Medals for both gallantry and meritorious service.
Putting aside their differences, Kashmir-based political parties strongly opposed this move of the government and termed this action as "cheap politics".
BJP, on the other hand, hailed the decision of the UT administration and demanded that Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University and Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy Udhampur should be given names of the martyrs or social reformers.
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday announced that the image of "Sher-i-Kashmir" Sheikh Abdullah embossed on the J&K Police medals for gallantry and meritorious service will be replaced with the national emblem.
An order to this effect was issued by the home department. The government had earlier renamed Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medals Jammu and Kashmir Police Medals.
Mehbooba, Altaf Bukhari condemns Govt's move
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti minced no words in slamming the J&K government for removing the image of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah from the police medal.
"Sheikh Abdullah played a historic role in the politics of J&K. She said it was all due to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India", she said, adding, "replacing his picture on police medal exposes poor mentality of people at the helm of the affairs".
Founder of the J&K Apni Party Altaf Bukhari said that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was a tall political personality of J&K. "Despite having ideological differences with NC, there is no doubt that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was a great leader", he said and regretted the decision to remove Sheikh's image from police medal.
Sheikh Abdullah will continue to rule the hearts of the people of J&K: NC
Terming the move as a "nefarious attempt" to erase the history of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference on Tuesday said Sheikh Abdullah will continue to rule the hearts of the people here.
"With due respect to National Emblem, these attempts to erase our history, identity, and icons show nefariousness of those running the show," NC state spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said here.
Dar said replacing names will not change anything and the NC founder and former chief minister will continue to rule the hearts of the people of J-K.
"People of J-K have struggled on many fronts to be where they are now. They fought oppression and autocracy. No one can change that. Not by replacing/changing names. Sheikh Sb will continue to rule the hearts of people of J-K, no matter what they or their masters do," the spokesperson said.
A welcome step, remove Sheikh's name from SKUAST, SKPA also: BJP
Appreciating the decision of the J&K administration to remove Sheikh Abdullah's image from the police medal, former Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta on Tuesday demanded that all the government institutions should be named after martyrs and social reformers.
In a statement, Kavinder said that there is no rationale behind naming Agriculture University and Police Academy in the name of Sheikh Abdullah as these institutions should be named after those valiant personalities who had sacrificed their lives for the nation by giving supreme sacrifices.
He demanded that the third Tawi Bridge in Gujjar Nagar, Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University, and Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy Udhampur should be given names of the martyrs or social reformers.