Mirpur (AJK) - The tragic day of July 13, 1931 is the milestone in the advent of the Kashmiris’ struggle against foreign occupation which still continues under the Indian alien rule.

The history of Dogra Rule (1846-1947) in Kashmir is replete with brutal treatment, perpetrated on the Kashmiri Muslims. Under their rule, the life was made so terrible and miserable for the Muslims that it was difficult to differentiate them from beasts. Slave labour, heavy taxes, capital punishment for cow slaughter, and living under constant state-terror was order of the day.

On the day, thousands of people crowded the Central Jail, Srinagar, to witness the trial of Abdul Qadeer. As the time for obligatory prayer approached, a young Kashmiri stood for Azaan. The Dogra Governor of Ray Zada Tartilok Chand ordered the soldiers to open fire at him. When he got martyred, another young man took his place and resumed Azaan from the verse it was broken following the martyrdom of first Kashmiri reciter of the Azaan. He was also shot dead. In this way, 22 Kashmiris embraced martyrdom in their effort to complete the Azaan.

The people carried the dead and paraded through the streets of Srinagar, chanting slogans against Dogra brutalities. Complete strike was observed in the city, which was followed by weeklong mourning. The tragic incident shook the whole state and the traffic from Srinagar to Rawalpindi and Srinagar to Jammu came to a halt from July 13 to 26, 1931. The 22 martyrs are buried in Martyrs’ Graveyard at Khawaja Bazar, Srinagar.

The atrocities against the Kashmiri Muslims did not stop even after the partition of the Subcontinent. The human rights record of Indian government in the occupied Kashmir has been terrible and is characterised by arbitrary arrests, torture, rape and extrajudicial killings. Since 1989 when liberation of Kashmir entered a new phase, Indian military troops have been using all inhuman tactics of ethnic cleansing to disturb the majority population of the Kashmiris.

Today’s Kashmir presents the worst possible case of state terrorism where Indian forces threaten to eliminate entire masses engaged in demanding implementation of the UN resolutions. Various methods of state terrorism such as breaking the leg, burning of a village, custodial killings, etc., are mercilessly used against the innocent Kashmirirs, demanding their legitimate right to freedom. More than half of a million Jammu & Kashmir people have been massacred by the Indian military troops and security agencies so far during last 70 years.

Nonetheless, observance of Kashmiris’ freedom struggle on the Kashmir Martyrs’ Day on July 13, every year is reaffirmation of the fact that Kashmiris will continue to fight against Indian illegitimate occupation. In this connection, Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir is an ideal day for the people of Jammu & Kashmir to seek inspiration to carry their struggle for freedom to its logical end. At this time of distress, the people of Pakistan and AJK side with the oppressed ones in sharing the grief of Kashmiri freedom lovers.

Pakistan also observes Youme Shudaha-e-Kashmir, launching a protest against the continued oppressive policies of Indian occupation. The Kashmir Day is also a message for Indians that if the people of Kashmir did not bow down their heads before the tyranny of Dogra Rule how they will succumb to the despotic Indian rule.