Remembering the Lion Hearts of Kashmir Freedom Movement
July 13th is the day to pay homage to the martyrs of Kashmir of 13 July, 1931. On this day, the Dogra troops in Srinagar shot dead 22 Kashmiri Muslims. According to the Kashmir Media Service, on this day every year complete shutdown is marked with strict restrictions by the Indian authorities in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Stringent measures are taken to prevent a march towards the Martyrs Graveyard at Naqshband Sahib in Srinagar where the martyrs of July 13 are buried. Pro-martyrs and pro-freedom posters are displayed in Srinagar and other parts of the territory.
The ban on Eid sermons on April 19, 1931, ignited widespread demonstrations in the Jammu city for a number of days. It was followed by desecration of the Holy Quran at the hands of Dogra forces, which resulted in outrage among the Muslims throughout the state. In Srinagar, people gathered in Jamia Masjid to denounce this blasphemy. One such get together was held in Khanka-e-Muella Srinagar, which was addressed by prominent Kashmiris. When the meeting was concluded, a youth, Abdul Qadeer, pointing his finger to the Maharaja’s palace, raised slogans “destroy its every brick.” With the accusations of sedition, he was arrested forthwith. Abdul Qadir was to be tried in the court, but due to large public resentment, the court was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar.
On July 12, 1931, in response to the shifting of court, intense public protests were held throughout the city. The next day, on July 13, 1931, thousands of people thronged the Central Jail Srinagar to witness the in-camera trial of Abdul Qadeer. As the time for obligatory prayer approached, a young Kashmiri stood for Azan. The Dogra Governor, Ray Zada Tartilok Chand ordered soldiers to open fire at him. When he got martyred, another young man took his place and started Azan. He was also shot dead. In this way, 21 Kashmiris embraced martyrdom in their efforts to complete the Azan. The people carried the dead and paraded through the streets of Srinagar, chanting slogans against Dogra brutalities. After the partition, Indians following the doctrine of brutality illegally occupied the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, same atrocities have been carried out by the Indian government on the Kahmiri people but they proved to be bulwarks against the Indian enormity.
Nonetheless, observing the Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir on July 13 all over the world, Kashmiris renew their pledge to continue the ongoing war of liberation for the accomplishment of their legitimate right of self-determination as recognized by the related resolutions of the UNO, and for the independence of Kashmir from the despotic Indian rulers who continue state terrorism in the IOK like the Dogra rulers. In this respect, the Martyrs’ Day has given a new impetus to the Kashmiris’ endless struggle.