Sheikh Imran Bashir
Srinagar: The Kashmir Martyrs’ Day was observed here on Tuesday in memory of 23 Kashmiris who died in 1931 while fighting against Dogra rule.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, New and Renewable Energy Minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah visited the martyrs’ graveyard in Naqashband Sahib, old city area to pay floral tributes and offer prayers there.
Main Opposition leader in the State Assembly and patron of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mufti Mohammad Syeed also visited the Mazar-e-Shuhada (martyrs’ graveyard) and paid tributes to the martyrs.
The state congress chief, Saif Udin soz also visited the martyrs’ graveyard and paid tributes to the martyrs.
It was July 13, 1931, when people revolting against the autocratic rule of Dogra Maharaja, Hari Singh, stormed the central jail in Srinagar city. Jail guards retaliated by opening fire and killing many people.
The people killed in the central jail firing were buried in the graveyard that has since been known as the martyrs’ graveyard here.
Mirwaiz, the chairman of APHC (M), who was placed under house arrest on Saturday when he tried to lead a protest demonstration in the old city, had given a call for a march to UNMOGIP from the martyrs graveyard at Naqashband Sahib to hand over a memorandum to UN representatives seeking to implement the resolutions passed by the UN for resolving the Kashmir issue.
The APHC (G) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani had also planned a rally from martyrs’ graveyard to Eidgah to pay homage to 22 people who died on July 13, 1931 during the Dogra rule.
Meanwhile, restrictions were imposed in the Srinagar to prevent a separatist rally coinciding with ‘martyrs’ day’, commemorating the 1931 day when the central jail here was stormed and jail guards opened fire killing many people.
A top police officer told Agence India Press that, restrictions are in place throughout Srinagar city as a precautionary measure to protect civilian life and property from the designs of anti-social elements.
Curfew was imposed in Batmaloo in Srinagar and Sopore in North Kashmir as a precautionary measure while restrictions under section 144 CrPC are being strictly enforced in rest of the Valley, police said.
There was heavy deployment of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) around the martyrs’ graveyard to facilitate the visit there.
Police and paramilitary troops were patrolling the deserted streets to maintain law and order in the entire Valley.