Even before the controversy over Article 370 could die down, Kashmiri lawmaker and the architect of `Save Afzal Guru resolution' Sheikh Abdul Rashid aka Engineer Rashid stoked another row by observing `National Day of Kashmir' by unfurling the state flag in the heart of Srinagar.
Engineer Rashid, an independent MLA from Langate constituency who now heads Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP), organised a public function at the historic Sher-e-Kashmir Park in the heart of the city on Saturday to mark the day.
On June 7, 1952 the motion for the J&K state flag – a red rectangular flag with three equidistant white vertical strips of equal width next to the staff and a white plough in the middle with handle facing the strips – was adopted by the constituent assembly.
"Scotland and Ireland regained their lost glory by bringing into fore the importance of the National anthem and the National Flag. Kashmir has to follow the same path. This day should serve as a tough message to Central government over its misadventures on article 370", said Engineer Rashid.
Under article 370 enshrined in the Indian constitution, Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a special status in the Indian union. It is the only state in the Indian union which has a separate constitution, flag and penal code.
Calling for reviving the unique identity of Kashmir, Rashid said final peace can only be achieved when the Kashmir dispute is solved in a just manner.
The event evoked a reaction from the BJP which has demanded registering an FIR against Engineer Rashid. "The clock cannot be turned back. We demand that a case should be registered against Engineer Rashid for organising a controversial event", said Vibodh Gupta, state vice-president of BJP.
Rashid, who quit his job as a government engineer to contest elections in 2008 as an independent candidate, hogged the limelight in September 2011 when he brought the controversial "Save Afzal Guru" resolution in the Assembly seeking amnesty to the parliament attack convict.