SRINAGAR Oct. 26: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took out a ‘Tiranga rally’ through Srinagar’s civil lines on Monday, coinciding with the 73rd anniversary of the signing of ‘Instrument of Accession’ with the Indian union by Jammu and Kashmir’s last Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh.
The rally was also meant for sending a “strong message” to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, that “it is the national flag alone which will now be raised in J&K till eternity”, said one of the organizers of the rally.
The BJP organized a similar rally in winter capital Jammu also. While speaking on the occasion, the party’s J&K unit chief Ravinder Raina said, “If such leaders (a reference to Ms. Mufti) want to stay in India they have to honour the national flag”.
Ms. Mufti set off a political controversy last week when she at her maiden press conference after her release from a 14-month-long detention said she won't raise any flag other than that of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir till its special status and its own flag are restored.
Dozens of cars and other LMVs with BJP’s local leaders and workers on board were driven from Srinagar’s Tagore Hall to Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) who chanted patriotic slogans and waved the national flag. Their yelling of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and similar slogans turned fierce as they drove past the residences of Ms. Mufti and National Conference president and three-time chief minister Farooq Abdullah along the City’s high-security Gupkar Road.
The BJP also held a rally at Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Municipal Park to wave the tricolour and chant ‘nationalist’ slogans and also those against Ms. Mufti.
Earlier during the day, the police took three BJP activists from frontier Kupwara district in preventive custody as they arrived at Lal Chowk to hoist the tricolour on the clock-tower of Srinagar's City centre. The police officials said that the BJP activists’ action could have created a law and order problem in what is also the commercial hub of J&K’s summer capital.
At the weekend, groups of people reportedly owing allegiance to the BJP and like-minded local political groups had allegedly set themselves upon the PDP office in winter capital Jammu and hoisted the national flag at the premises amid yelling of slogans against Ms. Mufti. On Monday, activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad joined by a group of local youth and a local lawyer hoisted the tricolour at the fence of the PDP office at Jammu’s Gandhi Nagar area.
BJP has announced to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of Indian troops in Kashmir Valley on Tuesday in a big way. “We will celebrate the day like Diwali and Independence Day,” said the party chief Mr. Raina....