Remembering Kashmir Martyrs Day-July 13, 1931

Jamil Chughtai
The gory acts of state terrorism on Kashmiris are not something new in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The people of the valley have been subjected to atrocious state machinery since 1846 after sale of Kashmir by the British Raj to Dogra Raja Gulab Singh under Amritsar Treaty. Muslims of Kashmir have continued to be the major target of unending stints of tyranny unleashed on them first by Hindu Dogra rule and later by the Indian security forces. Between 1846 – the sale of British to Maharaja and 1947 – the forced takeover of Kashmir by India, the battered history of Kashmir happens to unfold yet another gloomy chapter related to massacre of unarmed Kashmiri protesters by Hindu Dogra Raj in 1931 at Srinagar.
On 13 July 1931 as many as 22 Kashmiris were shot down by Dogra police outside Srinagar State Prison when they were agitating against the imprisonment of a Kashmiri named Abdul Qadeer who was being tried on the charges of terrorism and inciting the public against the Maharaja of Kashmir. Abdul Qadeer had delivered a speech in a gathering where he spoke about the discriminatory treatment of the state towards Kashmiri Muslims vis-à-vis the Hindu citizens of the valley. His trial soon drew huge attention of the common Kashmiris and on the day of judgment thousands of people gathered outside the Srinagar Court premises to lodge their protest against the likely outcome of the case. Considering the congregation as an unlawful gathering, the Dogra state machinery sprang into action by first resorting to baton-charge and later opening a straight fire on the agitated Kashmiris killing scores on the spot and injuring hundreds of them.
13th of July is observed every year by people on both sides of the Line of Control and by the Kashmiri Diaspora all over the world as Kashmir Martyrs’ Day. While remembering this day serves for paying homage to 22 Kashmiris who laid their lives protesting the prosecution of the sympathizers of Kashmir struggle, the occasion also recalls the day when people of the valley rose against discriminatory Dogra rule and thereby staged the first signs of revolt in opposition to the atrocities being perpetrated on them since 1846. The later days saw instant realization among the otherwise docile Kashmiris to work under popular platforms and initiate unified struggle to win back their legitimate freedom. With the initiation of active uprising, especially after Indo-Pak partition and by-force occupation of Kashmir by India, an unprecedented amount of tyranny has been let loose on Kashmiri protesters and freedom seekers.
Since 1947, three successive generations of Kashmiris have struggled for their right to self-determination despite harshest Indian measures. After the martyrdom of young BurhanWani in 2016, the uprising has scaled new heights, etching out to the world seeking their long over-due attention and moral support for the cause.
During the last three years of the ‘Intifada’, thousands of Kashmiri freedom-seekers have been killed and brutally injured by Indian security forces.
The count also goes beyond thousands in case of young boys and girls who have been blinded with pellet guns and the Kashmiri woman raped and molested by the Indian military personnel. To add insult to injury, the incumbent BJP government through RSS has continued to work on the shameless strategy of changing the demography of occupied Kashmir by harassing Muslims to leave the area and settling non-locals there.
All along these seven decades, Pakistan has bore the brunt of Indian aggression for extending moral support to the indigenous freedom movement of the people of Kashmir. Young Kashmiris, however, kept laying down their lives for the greater cause of liberation sans logistic and financial support from outside. India’s false flag maneuvers such as the Indian Parliament attack (13 December 2001), Mumbai Terror attack (26 November 20087) and Uri Base attack (18 September 2016), have also continued at the same time to label Kashmiri freedom fighters as terrorists and Pakistan as a country that supports terrorism. In the latest enactment of 14th February which resulted in death of over 43 Indian paramilitary soldiers in Pulwama, India has again used Pakistan and the Jaish-e-Muhammad as a scapegoat. In a pre-programmed vengeance spree following the Pulwama incident, Indian military launched search & cordon operations and killed scores of innocent Kashmiris in IOK.
Besides settling scores with people of occupied Kashmir, India simultaneously resorted to target civilians on the Pakistani side of the LoCblattantly violating the Geneva Conventions and tenets of the International humanitarian law.
For satiating their uncalled-for revenge, the Indian security forces have managed to ‘bravely’ kill over 500 ‘unarmed’ Kashmiris in the span of mere twelve months.
During the last couple of years, the Indian savagery on hapless Kashmiris have also been reported by the UN and various international human rights organizations, including UNHRC, OHCHR & EUHRC. Similarly UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in India & Pakistan) has also gave out an extremely horrendous picture of Indian hostilities on Kashmiris in their recent report. Moreover, in a rare yet highly rewarding development, the Council of Foreign Ministers in its 46th session recently held on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Conference in UAE has also adopted a resolution that “condemned in the strongest terms the recent wave of Indian terrorism in Occupied Jammu & Kashmir besides ensuring unwavering support for the Kashmiri people in their just cause”. While this OIC admonishing statement is being taken as a long over-due obligation on the part of Muslim Ummah, it has come as an absolute shock for India because SushmaSwaraj, the Indian external affair minister, was present at the said event as the ‘guest of honour’.
On this 13th July, the Kashmiris all over the world remember their martyrs and remind themselves; how cheaply they were sold out in 1846 under ‘Amritsar Treaty’ by the British, how recklessly they were slaughtered by Dogras in 1931 and how their freedom was again deceitfully snatched by India in 1947.
Observing the Kashmir Martyrs’ Day in July every year is like earnestly and repeatedly knocking at the conscience of the world human rights bodies to make them realize that practice of human slavery still persists in its worst form in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
In fact, it is time for the UN and HR observers to come forward and compensate for what they have so far criminally neglected, that is, relieving Kashmiris from the Indian slavery and giving them their right of self-determination, without further delay.
Source: The Frontier Post
July 13, 2019

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