Srinagar: Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday said that the 13 July martyrs day can never be erased from the history of Jammu & Kashmir.
“On this day, in 1931, 22 brave souls protesting against the tyranny of the autocracy were martyred," PAGD said.
"This historic event had shaken the foundations of the then oppressive power structure. This unprecedented incident proved to be a milestone in the long road of the people’s struggle for justice. Thus it marked the beginning of the mass awakening in Kashmir. The barbaric killings of protesters shocked and infuriated the people who challenged the autocratic rule,” PAGD spokesman said.
The uprising against the tyranny & autocratic ruler laid a strong edifice for unifying the people, rising above narrow considerations that finally culminated in initiating a process of their empowerment, he said.
“Despite brazen assault on legitimate constitutional rights and suppression of civil liberties, democratic rights, curbing the media, indiscriminate arrests of political activists and youth under draconian laws like UAPA, PSA, people can not be silenced for long," PAGD said.
“Economy of the region is worsening, despite tall promises of development, investment and job creation. The fact remains, the erstwhile state of J&K lags far behind. Instead of creating new job opportunities, daily wagers, contractual employees, casual labourers, scheme workers & others are either not getting their wages regularly or are being altogether denied their dues."
"United voice remains the only option i.e the real tribute to these great martyrs," they added.
PAGD is the alliance of the major political parties of J&K which came together to fight over the restoration of the autonomous status of J&K which was scrapped in 2019.
For centuries, Martyr’s day was observed on 13 July, In 1931, 21 civilians were killed by the Dogra government led by Hari Singh after Abdul Qader (a Kashmiri cook) gave a rebellious speech against atrocities and called for the end of Dogra rule in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the autonomous status of J&K was lost on 5 August 2019, the martyrs day holiday was canceled by the Modi government.
For the third consecutive year, there was no official commemoration of Martyrs’ Day.
(With Inputs From KNO)