Sitting MP and National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah on Sunday asked the party activists to be prepared to make sacrifices like the farmers to get back the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370) that has been snatched by the centre.
Addressing party workers at the mausoleum of his father and NC founder Sheikh Abdullah on the occasion of his 116th birth anniversary, Dr. Farooq said that every NC worker and leader should stay in touch with the people in every village and locality.
“All of you have to be steadfast. Centre repealed farm laws after the sacrifice of 700 farmers. We may also have to offer similar sacrifices to get back the rights that have been snatched from us by the Centre,” he said.
NC vice-president Omar Abdullah and a large number of party workers and leaders had assembled at Hazratbal in Srinagar to pay tributes to the Sheikh amid incessant rains.
Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that post abrogation of Article 370, J&K is witnessing peace and tourism, Dr. Farooq said that if tourism is picking up in Kashmir, what does that mean? “Is tourism everything,” he asked.
He said that it was after massive resistance by the families of three persons killed in the Hyderpora encounter that the police and the administration had to exhume bodies of two and hand them over to their families.
“The body of the third innocent is yet to be handed over to his family in Ramban,” Dr. Farooq Abdullah said. He asked party men to start public outreach programs and stay connected with people in every village and locality across Kashmir.
Paying glowing tributes to Sheikh Abdullah, the NC described him as a man of iron determination and incisive vision. A sustained endeavor for the restoration of J&K’s democratic institutions, defense of its unique socio, cultural and political identity, and maintenance of communal harmony and brotherhood would be a befitting tribute to the Sheikh.
“The spirit of secularism and tolerance possessed by Sheikh Abdullah was the cumulative effect of the environment which generation after generation has fine-tuned the psyche of people of Jammu & Kashmir. He was not any different; he also exhibited the spirit of tolerance, mutual respect, and camaraderie towards all sects and creeds. He all his life made earnest efforts to strengthen it; his political struggle for the restoration of people’s rights wasn’t exclusive, on the contrary, it was inclusive. A mass movement organizer, Sheikh Sahib’s struggle was never aimed to alleviate the suffering of particular followers of a faith,” the NC said.