New Delhi, January 20: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued instructions to States and Union Territories for the observance of silence on the Martyrs' Day. In the letter to the Chief Secretaries, Administrators of all State Governments, Union Territory Administrations, the Union Home Ministry said that on January 30, every year, two minutes' silence is observed at 11 AM throughout the country, in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives during the struggle for India's freedom.

While giving instructions, the MHA said: "Silence should be observed and work and movement stopped for two minutes throughout the country at 11 AM on January 30. Wherever feasible, the commencement and termination of the two minutes' silence period should be indicated by the sound of a siren or Army guns." Martyr’s Day (Shaheed Diwas) 2020 in India: Date, Significance and History of Mahatma Gandhi’s Assassination Day.

Ministry of Home Affairs Issues Instructions to State Govts for Observance of Silence on January 30

"Sirens should be sounded from 10.59 hours till 11.00 hours and after two minutes, all clear sirens should again be sounded from 11.02 hours till 11.03 hours. This procedure may be adopted where sirens exist," read the letter.

At places, where no signal systems are available, the Home Ministry asked States and Union Territories to give suitable instructions to all concerned for observing the silence for two minutes at 11 AM.

The MHA stated that in the past, it has been observed that while two minutes' silence is observed in some offices, the general public goes about its occupation in the ordinary course, "unmindful of the solemnity" of the occasion.

"The State/Union Territories Governments are requested to ensure that the Martyrs' Day is observed with due solemnity. State/Union Territories Government may issue instructions to all educational institutions and Public Sector Enterprises under their control for the observance of the Martyrs' Day, accordingly. Talks, speeches on freedom struggle, national integration may be organised in hybrid mode," read the letter.

The MHA said that the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) issued from time to time regarding COVID-19 are to be strictly adhered to while observing Martyrs' Day.