Indian occupied troops have been struggling to control demonstration in the Muslim majority Kashmir valley after being accused of killing 15 civilians … many of them teenagers… since the first death,of a 17 year old on June11.
Shops and businesses are shut in troubled Kashmir for the third straight day as Kashmiri protesting Indian rule declared a strike and organized marches to mark an annual ‘Martyrs’ Day’ when 21 Kashmiri Muslims were ordered killed to quell a 1931 uprising.
Thousands of Indian forces are enforcing curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir, to prevent rallies by the Kashmiri. Similar restrictions are also in force in several towns across Kashmir where shops and businesses are closed and public transport is not running.
July 13 marks “Martyrs’ Day” in Kashmir. Traditionally both separatists and pro-Indian occupied Kashmiris commemorate the day when the region’s Hindu king ordered 21 Kashmiris executed to put down an uprising.
In occupied Kashmir, the authorities have imposed undeclared curfew in Srinagar to thwart a march towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Naqashband Sahib, today.
Call for the march has been given by the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and the forum patronised by veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani to pay tribute to 22 Kashmiri martyrs, who were shot dead by the Dogra troops on July 13, 1931, one after the other, in front of Srinagar Central Jail.
The occupation authorities continue to place Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Agha Syed Hassan Al-Moosvi under house arrest to prevent them from leading the march while Hurriyet leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Shabbir Ahmed Shah and Nayeem Ahmad Khan have already been put behind the bars.
Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over are observing the Kashmir Martyrs Day, today, as Istiqlal Day, to reaffirm their resolve to continue the martyrs’ mission till its logical conclusion.
In occupied Kashmir, the authorities have ordered immediate ban on the beaming of Pakistani news and religious channels.
In an effort to prevent people from getting information about the large-scale protests, which kept the Kashmir valley on the edge, the authorities first suspended mobile telephone services in north Kashmir and then banned SMS service throughout the Kashmir Valley.
In the latest move, the authorities have directed local cable operators in Srinagar, Sopore, Baramulla and Islamabad to stop beaming Pakistani news and religious channels.
“The District Magistrate of Baramulla asked us to stop broadcasting Pakistani channels”, a Baramulla-based cable operator told median men. “These channels include PTV, PTV World, PTV News, Geo TV, Dawn News, Express 24/7, Waqt, ARY News and Noor TV,” he added.
Confirming the ban, the District Magistrate of Baramulla, Bashir Ahmad Bhat said that these channels had been banned in north Kashmir particularly in Sopore and Baramulla.
In Srinagar, the cable operators said that the SHOs concerned had directed them to stop airing of Pakistani news and religious channels.
The Executive Director of Kashmir Centre Washington, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai has made an imperative appeal for the world powers to recognize the long-standing wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people as they observe Martyrs Day, today.
Dr Fai in a statement issued in Washington said, “Kashmiris, throughout the world, observe the Kashmir Martyrs Day to reaffirm their resolve to continue their struggle for self-determination and pay homage to the 100,000 innocent men, women and children killed brutally during the past 20 years.”
Dr Fai, commenting on the tragic day, stated, ‘It was on July 13, 1931, that the foreign occupying Dogra troops shot dead 22 Kashmiris, in cold blood, in front of Srinagar Central jail. Since that ominous day, Kashmiris organized peaceful protests, seminars and conferences throughout the world to mark the day. In Srinagar, ‘a massive march will take place towards the martyrs’ graveyard at Naqashband Sahib.’
He said, call for the march has been given by the APHC Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and senior Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, adding, “These leaders have agreed that, after reaching the martyrs’ graveyard, the people will continue their march towards the United Nations Observers’ Office in Sonawar.”
Commenting on the scheduled march, Dr Fai reiterated that the United Nations must recognize the legitimate Kashmiri demand for self-determination. He appealed to the world powers to persuade India to immediately release Mian Abdul Qayoom, the President of High Court Bar Association of occupied Kashmir and other leaders including Syed Ali Gilani and Shabbir Ahmed Shah.
He maintained that the Kashmir Centre Washington is committed to finding a just and lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute through a fair and impartial plebiscite and calls upon the international community to seize this moment. He urged an inquiry into the murder and rape of two Kashmiri women in Shopian by Indian men in uniform. He deplored that India had not undertaken investigations into the unmarked and unnamed mass graves discovered in the occupied territory. He demanded an impartial investigation into the recent brutal murders of 17 young men and women by Indian troops and police in last few weeks.
The Executive Director of Kashmir Centre London, Professor Nazir Ahmad Shawl has paid glowing tributes to all those Kashmiris, who sacrificed their today for a better tomorrow of their nation.
Professor Shawl in a statement issued in London in connection with Kashmir Martyrs Day, being observes, today, said, “Every year on this day the people of Jammu and Kashmir reiterate the resolve to continue their march for freedom, dignity and peace. This year, we are observing the day at a time when Indian occupied Kashmir has been witnessing an unprecedented repression in different cities, towns and villages.”
He maintained that the occupation forces had failed to break the will of the people and India must read the writing on the wall and quit Kashmir. “It is high time for New Delhi to acknowledge the ground realities and redeem the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people,” he added.