Kashmiris from all around the world are commemorating the martyrs of July 13, 1931 on Kashmir Martyrs’ Day today (Tuesday).
People commemorate the sacrifices made by heroic Kashmiris in their fight for a safe homeland on Kashmir Martyrs’ Day.
On July 31, 1931, Dogra Maharaja’s men massacred 22 Kashmiris one by one outside Srinagar’s Central Jail during court hearings against Abdul Qadeer, who had urged the Kashmiri people to defy Dogra rule.
There are numerous eyewitness accounts, local anecdotes, and news reports about what happened in Srinagar on that tragic but momentous day. Two authors provide reliable record of July 13, 1931, in their authentic books.
When it was time for Namaz-e-Zuhr in Srinagar on July 13, 1931, a young man began to call for prayer but was shot dead by the Maharaja’s men.
According to estimates, 22 young people gave their lives to ensure that Azaan was completed.
The books “Inside Kashmir,” authored by Prem Nath Bazaz and published by Kashmir Publishing Company in 1941, and “Tarikh-i-Hurriyat,” written by Rashid Taseer and published by Kapur Brothers Lal Chowk Srinagar, recount the events of the day.
Another incidence occurred on June 20, 1931, in Srinagar, when Quranic leaves were discovered in a public latrine. This incident added fuel to the fire, and Muslim rallies began to take place throughout the city to raise awareness about Muslims’ religious rights.
When Abdul Qadeer, a British Army officer’s employee, spoke at a public assembly in Kanqah-i-Maula, he became the focal point of the religious right campaign.
Abdul Qadeer said in his speech:
“The moment has come when we should not use considerable force to put an end to the tyrannies and brutalities to which you are subjected, nor will they be able to satisfy you on the topic of disrespect for the Holy Quran. You must rely on your own strength and fight injustice with tenacity. We don’t have any machine guns here. We do, however, have a lot of stones and brickbats.”
The CID taped his remarks, and when he returned to Naseem Bagh that night, he was tracked down and detained from his employer’s houseboat on June 24. He was charged under sections 124-A and 153 of the Ranbir Penal Code.
His trial began on July 4, 1931, at the Court of the Sessions Judge, which was housed within Srinagar’s Central Jail.
Thousands of Muslims gathered outside the Central Jail on July 13 for a court hearing. The demanded permission to enter the compound once the session Judge arrived. According to estimates, between 4,000 and 5,000 individuals attended the trial. A group of roughly 200 individuals entered the compound before the session began and remained peacefully outside the Jail Guard Lines.
President of the AJK Pays Glorious Tributes To Martyrs
President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan remarked that the killing of 22 Kashmiri Muslims on July 13, 1931, marked the start of the present phase of the Kashmir freedom fight.
“With their sacred blood, the martyrs of July 13 etched history, and their sacrifice has inspired the contemporary liberation struggle. In a message, Masood added, “Today, the freedom-loving people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) are creating another chapter of history with their precious blood.”
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