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The Kashmir Martyrs Day

Youme-e-Shuhadae Kashmir or Kashmir Martyrs Day is being observed today in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Indian Held Kashmir. On 13 July 1931, 22 Kashmiri Muslims were martyred by Dogra soldiers outside Sri Nagar jail. The day has special significance, because the movement against Maharaja’s atrocities had started about 90 years ago. The day reminds us of the Kashmiri martyrs who laid down their lives to keep the torch of freedom alight. Regardless of the fact that the movement was crushed through state repression and violence, it played a significant role in creating awareness among Kashmiri Muslims. It was, indeed, due to this movement that British government had appointed Glancy Commission to investigate into the atrocities committed by the Maharaja. Kashmiri leadership, however, realized that they needed to build up an organization with a view to waging struggle for their freedom.
It was in this backdrop that Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Sheikh Abdullah formed All Jammu and Kashmir Conference, and its first meeting was held from 15 to 17 October 1932, which was later named as Muslim Conference. In 1934, State’s first elections were held, and the Muslim Conference won 16 out of 21 seats. After two years in 1936, it succeeded in getting 19 out of 21 seats. Congress was upset with these results, and tried to create division in the ranks of Kashmiri leadership. In 1937, a meeting was arranged between Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah and the latter agreed to convert Muslim Conference into National Conference. When Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and his colleagues realized that Sheikh Abdullah was toeing Nehru’s line, they revived the Muslim Conference, which played an important role in the struggle for freedom from the occupiers.
Historical evidence suggests that Kashmiris have passed through the longest ordeal, and faced repression, death and destruction even before the partition. The British had played an ignominious role in bringing Kashmiris to the present pass, as British had sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh, former governor of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, for 7.5 million rupees. Once again at the time of partition when people of Kashmir had dreamt of freedom from oppression, India accepted Lord Mountbaten as the first Governor General of India with a view to extracting maximum advantage. An insidious plan of annexing Kashmir was contrived and implemented by Lord Mountbaten and Nehru when Raja Hari Singh was persuaded rather coerced into signing the controversial document on 26th July 1947, which was prepared by Lord Mountbatten. It was on the basis of this document that Indian forces entered the Valley, and endless dark night for Kashmiris started.
On 19th July 1947, Muslim Conference held a convention and passed a resolution to merge Kashmir with Pakistan, which stated: “This convention of Muslim Conference has reached the conclusion that geographical conditions, 80 per cent Muslim population, important rivers of Punjab passing through the state, language, cultural, ethnic and economic relations and contiguity of the state with Pakistan make it imperative to merge with Pakistan”. According to the Partition of India Plan, the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was to be decided in the light of its people’s wishes. However, India occupied the State through military force and claimed it as an integral part of India. Earlier, changes in the Radcliff Award were made through intrigue by Lord Mountbatten by giving Gurdaspur to India otherwise India had no road link with Kashmir to occupy and sustain the occupation.

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