Every year, July 13 is observed as Kashmir Martyrs’ Day by Kashmiris all over the world. The day is marked to pay tribute to 22 Kashmiri Muslims killed on July 13, 1931.
13 July 1931 – the day when thousands of Kashmiris flocked to Central Jail, Srinagar to witness the trial of Abdul Qadeer Khan Gazi, who was tried on the charge of inciting people against the Maharajas of Kashmir. When the time of obligatory prayer approached, one Kashmiri stood up to deliver Azan and was killed by the soldiers of Dogra governor. Another Kashmiri stood up to complete the Azan but he too was killed.
Khan, 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.
A total of 22 Kashmiris were killed for completing the Azan. Since 1931, 13 July has been observed as Martyr’s day (youm-e-shuda) in Kashmir and all over the world by Kashmiris to pay homage to the 22 martyrs who were killed while struggling.
For the first time in several decades, National Conference today, while paying tributes on ‘Martyrs Day’, put up a black and white picture of July 13, 1931, on its twitter handle, as a chilling reminder of what happened on the day 89 years ago.
The picture shows dead bodies lying on cots and a huge crowd offering prayers according to Islamic traditions.
The photograph was captioned: “NC President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Mr. @OmarAbdullah pay glowing tributes to the Martyrs of 13th July, 1931 on Martyrs day today.”
• Axe on Martyrs day
In year 2019, The Centre has launched an assault on one of Kashmir’s pre-Partition symbols of resistance against the Hindu Dogra rulers, disowning the Muslim “martyrs” who gave up their lives fighting their tyranny.
Lieutenant governor G.C. Murmu’s administration in 2019 struck down July 13 and December 5 from the list of public holidays for the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
July 13 was observed for decades as “Martyrs’ Day” in memory of the men killed by the Dogras’ forces in 1931 to crush protests against their rule.
December 5 is the birth anniversary of National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah, who played a key role in Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India and whose grave is, for this reason, guarded round the clock against any vandalism by anti-India protesters.
In the same year (2019), on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day, the then Govenor Satya Pal Malik skipped the tribute function in Srinagar, during the same day, Governor’s local adviser Khurshid Ahmad Ganai was among the first to visit the Mazar-e-Shohada (graveyard) at Srinagar’s Naqshband Sahib and offered floral tributes to the 1931 Martyrs, when 22 Kashmiri Muslims fell to Dogra Army’s bullets during a protest.
Then, not only Mr. Malik, but the then Chief Secretary and also all the four non-local advisers of the Governor skipped the commemoration function. Director-General of Police Dilbagh Singh also gave it a miss in year 2019.
Let’s take an oath to save humanity in every form and try to make peace all over the world. Let’s make a promise to ourselves that we will not discriminate against anyone because we all have one thing in common i.e our human form.