A tribute to July 13 heroes: Kashmiris to tread martyrs’ path till freedom

people commemorate 13th of July as Martyr’s Day every year to reaffirm their resolve to continue pursuing the path shown by the martyrs until the liberation of their motherland from Indian yoke.

According to a report released by Kashmir Media Service on the eve of Martyr’s Day, 13th July 1931 is a significant day due to the fact that it was the first occasion when the Kashmiris rose en masse against the oppression of the Dogra Maharaja. On this day 22 Kashmiris were shot dead outside the Srinagar Central Jail by the troops of Dogra Maharaja. The victims had gathered along with thousands of Kashmiris in the jail premises to attend the court proceedings against one, Abdul Qadeer, who had asked the Kashmiri people to rise against the tyrannical Dogra rule. This massacre is the blackest chapter in the history of Dogra regime. The Dogra period is considered to be the worst phase of the Kashmir history on account of cruelties meted out to the Muslims.

The new saga of the Kashmiris’ sufferings started after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. The Partition Plan had given the right to the then Princely States to accede to either of Pakistan or India on the basis of their geography and demography. The Kashmiris had a great feeling to join Pakistan due to their strong geographical, religious and cultural bonds with the country. However, their dream of becoming part of Pakistan was shattered by the landing of Indian Army in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 in total disregard to the Partition Plan that sowed the seeds of the Kashmir dispute. This shows that Kashmir is the unfinished part of the partition of South Asian subcontinent.

The continued denial of their rights by India compelled the people of the occupied territory to start a massive uprising in 1989. It picked up pace with the passage of time and gave sleepless nights to the Indian rulers. The people rose against the illegal occupation and vowed to continue their struggle till Kashmir’s liberation from Indian bondage. The extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on July 08, 2016, marked another turning point in the Kashmiris’ struggle against occupation. The killing triggered another huge anti-India uprising in the territory which was met with brute force by the occupation troops. Since the killing of Burhan Wani, 1231 Kashmiris had been martyred and 28,066 injured by Indian forces’ personnel till June 30, 2020. As many as 11,050 persons had received pellet injuries and 385 of them had lost their eyesight in one or both eyes.

On 5th August 2019, the Narendra Modi-led fascist government repealed the special status of occupied Kashmir and placed the territory under military siege and communications lockdown. Since 5th August, last year, Indian troops had martyred 192 Kashmiris and injured at least 1,326 people by using brute force on peaceful demonstrators till July 05, 2020. The troops had damaged over 935 houses and structures and molested 77 women, besides arresting thousands of people, most of whom continue to remain in different jails.

However, the fact remains that the worst kind of Indian brutalities have failed to force the Kashmiris to surrender their just cause and they are determined to carrying forward the mission of their martyrs who remain alive in their hearts and minds.

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