Srinagar: Strict restrictions were imposed on the movement of people in parts of Srinagar city to prevent people from paying tributes to the martyrs who were killed by the Dogra forces on July 13, 1931.
A large number of troops were deployed on Tuesday in and around the Khawaja Naqashband Sahib Shrine in the downtown area of Srinagar city to prevent the assembly of people at the graveyard where the martyrs are laid to rest. All roads leading towards the graveyard were blocked with concertina wires and police vehicles.
Kashmir Martyr’s Day is observed every year in memory of the twenty-two Kashmiri men who were killed on this day in 1931 by police outside the central jail, Srinagar during the Dogra rule.
On this day in 1931, thousands of Kashmiri people gathered at the central jail in Srinagar to see the trial of Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was arrested for challenging the autocratic Dogra rule. As the time for obligatory Friday prayers approached, a Kashmiri stood up to deliver the Adhan. The then Dogra governor Zada Tartilok Chand ordered his forces to open fire on them, which ended up with the killing of 22 Kashmiri men.
It is pertinent to mention that July 13 was observed as a public holiday in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and a grand official function was held every year, where the chief minister or the governor would visit the graveyard.
However, after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, all the official functions were stopped and the holiday was canceled.
Meanwhile, politicians in Kashmir paid their tributes to the martyrs of 13 July 1931. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and wrote, “Today on the occasion of Martyr’s day, gates leading to their graveyards have been locked up. Attempts to distort & rewrite Kashmir’s history is being done only to create a sense of defeat & helplessness amongst Kashmiris.”
“We pay our humble tributes to the Martyrs of July 13, 1931. The heroes who laid their lives inspired millions to live with DIGNITY. Their sacrifices will always be remembered. We observe this day to reiterate our commitment to fight evil with kindness. Salute & Respect,” Omar Abdullah wrote in a tweet.