Jawayria Abbasi
Kashmiris along both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) with their 
brethren in Pakistan and around the globe will observe the 
77th 'Kashmir Martyrs' Day' on July 13 with a renewed pledge to seek 
their birth right of self-determination and for deciding their fate 
and destiny in a free, fair and judicious manner at all costs. 

This day is observed to highlight the importance of the day and to 
pay rich tributes to the Kashmiri martyrs, particularly those who 
laid down their lives while fighting against the Dogra rule in 1931. 
About 21 Kashmiris sacrificed their lives for the end of foreign 
occupation on this particular day. This day of Kashmiris' matchless 
heroism resets again with a dynamic tenacity to rupture the despotic 
fetters of the Indian tyranny in the same style in which they kicked 
off a crusade against the barbaric Dogra regime. 

Going by the index of history, it comes to light that July 13, 1931, 
was the virtual podium of the current struggle movement of Kashmiris, 
which was set off as a decisive step to free the soil of Jammu and 
Kashmir from the shackles of aggressors. This movement was an upshot 
with frequent episodes. For instance on April 29, 1931, a crowd 
assembled at the Municipal Bagh of Jammu to offer Eid-ul-Azha prayers 
but was ordered to stop it by a Hindu police officer, Khem Chand. A 
gory incident followed in Samba, where Muslims were prevented from 
fetching drinking water from a pool which resulted in a sectarian 
skirmish. On June 4, Fazal Dad, an aficionado, was attacked by yet 
another policeman, Lambu Ram, who desecrated the sacred Punj Surah. 

On June 25 the same year, another shameful event took place at Khanqa-
e-Mu'allah in Srinagar when over 60,000 people gathered to express 
their indignation over frequent ugly acts of the Dogra regime. The 
moot comprising 85 percent of the population of the Muslims was 
presided over by religious scholars. On this occasion Mujahid Abdul 
Qadeer told the people, "It is time to act, we can in no way accept 
the monstrous acts of the Dogra regime, specifically towards our 
sacrosanct religion and the Holy Quran. Step up and put such 
horrendous acts of the cold blooded foe to an end." That day Mujahid 
Qadeer was put in jail and later on hearing of his case was shifted 
from the court to central jail. People of Kashmir censured the 
decision of Qadeer's trial in jail; with a call for open hearing. 
Then came the key day of July 31, 1931, when people from all segments 
of society made sure their presence to express their solidarity with 
Abdul Qadeer. The callous armed men, led by Hindu governor, opened 
ruthless firing on the defenceless demonstrators who were offering 
prayers and killed 22, including a lady. That incident was the take-
off point by the brave sons of Kashmir to bring a malevolent regime 
of Hari Singh to an end and inked the preamble of their freedom 
struggle history.

The year 1931 surfaced with a perilous course for Gulab Singh's 
heirs, who had made people's lives miserable. Masses irrespective of 
their gender were subjected to shameful atrocities, and multiple 
levies were imposed on them, like taxes on cooking stoves, windows, 
indoor gates and even on wives. The notorious motive behind this 
sadistic mindset was to mash the people financially so that no one 
could even raise their voice on the magnitude of the reign of terror. 
Since then, the tyranny continued to prevail over innocent Kashmiris. 

Observance of July 13 is not merely a tribute to the martyrs of 
Kashmir and pledging solidarity with them but also a cursor for India 
to immediately quit Jammu and Kashmir. The fortitude of Kashmiris to 
seek their right to self-determination at all costs speak volumes of 
the fact that India has miserably failed in its ploys and gambits to 
continue the seize of Jammu and Kashmir even by applying a military 
might of almost a million troops. It is time that New Delhi must 
eschew all types of repugnant paths and instead accept the ground 
realities, which clearly shows that if the Kashmir issue is not 
resolved strictly in line with the wishes of the Kashmiris, not only 
India but the entire region would continue to face risks and peril.

I will end this article by quoting the words of the then (1931) 
British Prime Minister of the state, Wakefield, who after having a 
look at the faces of the martyrs remarked: "I feel stunned over the 
audacity and gallantry of even the juvenile and adolescents - as each 
of them has received bullets on their chest and none on the back. I 
am obliged to salute these unique souls for their courage and 
boldness." Undoubtedly, blood of thousands of martyrs will not go in 
vain and people of Kashmir will surely see the light of freedom.


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