The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday announced that the image of NC founder and former chief minister ’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’ as Jammu and Kashmir Police Medals’.
”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, Financial Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary Raj Kumar Goyal said in the latest order.
Opposing the move, National Conference spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar called it as “erasing of the history” and added that Sheikh Abdullah will continue to rule the hearts of people in Jammu and Kashmir.
“With due respect to National Emblem, these attempts to erase our history, identity and icon show nefariousness of those running the show. People of J&K have struggled on many fronts to be where they are now. They fought oppression, autocracy. No one can change that. Not by replacing or changing names. Sheikh Abdullah will continue to rule the hearts of people of J&K, no matter what they or their masters do,” the NC leader said.
Senior BJP leader and former Deputy CM Kavinder Gupta supported the move and said that all such symbols of servitude should be scrapped.
“The separatist mindset that Sheikh Abdullah propagated has been ended. The era when Aurangzeb, Akbar, Shahjehan were touted as great rulers despite being vandals is over,” Gupta said.
In another order issued on January 25, the General Administration Department had said the nomenclature of Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medals’ has been changed to Jammu and Kashmir Police Medals’.
The January order came days after the government cancelled holiday on the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah, popularly known as Sher-i-Kashmir’. The police medals were instituted in 2001 and are given on New Year, Republic Day and Independence Day in two categories — gallantry and meritorious.