J&K: SKICC drops ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ title, renamed as Kashmir International Conference Centre

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday dropped “Sher-i-Kashmir”, the title attributed to the first chief minister of J&K Sheikh Abdullah, from Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) and renamed it as Kashmir International Conference Centre.

SKICC is located on the banks of the famous Dal Lake overlooking the Zabarwan mountains in the backdrop and in the neighbourhood of Mughal Gardens. The state-managed convention centre has hosted a number of international and national level conferences like interstate council meet, an international laparoscopic conference among others. The website, however, still carries the old name.
The SKICC was turned into a subsidiary jail since scrapping of the special status of J&K under Article 370 on August 5 last year. Among those detained at the SKICC were People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, PDP’s youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Para, senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar, and bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal.

Besides, after doing away with Article 370, the UT administration has cancelled two existing public holidays and introduced a new one.

The government order had cancelled public holidays on December 5 and July 13. December 5 is commemorated as the birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah. July 13 was observed as Martyrs’ Day in Jammu and Kashmir. On that date in 1931, 22 Kashmiris were killed outside the Srinagar Central Jail, where they had assembled to protest against autocratic Dogra rulers.

The new holiday was on October 26, the date in 1947 when the former state of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Dominion of India. A day later, Indian troops reached Srinagar to drive out tribal raiders. October 27 is observed as a Black Day in Kashmir, marked with a shutdown.

The internet clampdown has also been lifted partially in the Valley, with broadband and data services at 2G speed resuming from February. Recently, the administration also lifted social media restrictions.