MUZAFFARABAD: The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sardar Masood Khan, while describing the martyrdom of 22 Kashmiri Muslims on July 13, 1931, as a turning point of history said that it was the beginning of the current phase of Kashmir freedom struggle.
“The martyrs of July 13 had written history with their sacred blood and the current liberation struggle has drawn inspiration from their sacrifice. Today, the freedom-loving people of IIOJK are writing another chapter of the history with their sacred blood”, Masood said in a message on the 90th martyrdom anniversary of the martyrs who laid down their lives in front of Srinagar Central Jail on this day nine decades ago.
It was on July 13, 1931, when around five thousand Kashmiris had gathered outside the premises of Central Jail in Srinagar where Abdul Qadeer, a resident of British India, was being tried on the charge of sedition, for inciting Kashmiris against the Dogra ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh.
The President while paying glowing tributes to the martyrs of July 13, said they rendered unparalleled sacrifices to safeguard Islamic identity as, during that period, the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir was ruling the Muslim majority state with an iron fist and had reduced Kashmiri Muslims to serfs.
Sardar Masood Khan said that the tragedy in front of the Central Jail Srinagar was not merely an incident but it was the outcome of the lava in the hearts and minds of the Muslims against the regime of Maharaja Hari Singh because he was ruling the state without the will of the Muslim majority.
Before the incident of 13 July, he maintained that the holy Quran was desecrated, and the clerics were stopped from reciting sermons of Eid and Friday, which had provoked the Muslims and they had risen up against the government.
He said a rebellion was brewing. The Forced labor without wages was common practice. Injustice and tyranny were rampant. In addition, Muslims’ identity and sacred symbols were desecrated systematically by the Maharajah and his officials.
In, this scenario, Abdul Qadeer, attending a meeting of young activists, made a call for dismantling the Palace of the Maharajah, which had become a symbol of tyranny and repression. He was arrested and tried for sedition.
Terming the incident of central jail Srinagar as the launching point of their freedom movement, Masood vowed to render all kinds of sacrifices to carry forward the mission of martyrs.
He called the international community including the United Nations to play their role end brutalities in occupied Kashmir and help resolve that longstanding issue in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
President Masood went on to say that mission left incomplete by our martyrs has yet to be completed and maintained that today, under a fascist, settler-colonial rule of the BJP-RSS regime, Kashmiris are being killed, blinded, disappeared, illegally detained and tortured”.
He regretted that women of IIOJK have been raped to impose collective punishment on the besieged population.
“Nearly one million occupation forces are brutalizing Kashmiris. Under New Domicile Rules, thousands of non-native Hindus from India are being settled in the occupied territory to turn the Muslim majority into a minority, to pillage Kashmiris’ jobs and livelihoods, and to steal their land. This is the worst instance of brazen colonization in the 21st century”, he concluded.