Kashmir Martyrs' Day has been observed by the people of the held valley and Pakistan on July 13 for the last 90 years.
The day commemorates martyrdom of 22 Kashmiri muezzins (prayer callers) who were killed outside Srinagar jail on July 13, 1931 by the soldiers of the Maharaja of Kashmir while attempting to say the Azan (call for prayer).
Numerous Muslims were also arrested on the occasion. It historically emerged as the call for prayer that ended with the lives of 22 muezzins.
The sound of that Azan still reverberates in the hearts of Kashmiris. It is sacrifices such as these that keep the spirit of the Kashmiris alive.
In fact, it was this incident that provided the basis for Kashmir's independence. It was the unforgettable day when Kashmiris pledged to achieve freedom at all costs.
Even after the passage of nine decades, Kashmiris have been the victims of state oppression of the Hindu Rashtra, but they have not given up. Despite state terrorism, India has consistently failed to suppress Kashmiris.
The blood of 100,000 martyrs is proof that the independence movement is alive.
In 2019, the Narendra Modi government insulted the history of Kashmiris by announcing an end to the Martyrs' Day holiday in the occupied valley.
In addition, the Indian government announced a public holiday on October 26 on the occasion of the so-called 'Accession Day'.
Despite all these mean tactics, India is bound to fail to distort the identity and history of Kashmiris.With each passing day, the hatred for the Indian state grows in occupied Kashmir. Moreover, India is bewildered by the involvement of young blood in the war of independence.
The martyrdom of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016 breathed new life into the freedom movement. The courage and steadfastness of thousands of heroes like Wani and Maqbool Butt are a beacon for Kashmiri freedom fighters.
Occupied Kashmir has 900,000 Indian troops; of these, 300,000 troops occupy Srinagar alone. Due to Pakistan's effective diplomacy in recent years, the Kashmir issue has been raised in parliaments around the world.
Today, human rights organisations around the world are protesting against the Indian oppression in Kashmir.
Numerous extrajudicial killings and rape of more than 10,000 women have shaken the global conscience.
The illegal August 5, 2019 move of India has not been recognised by the Kashmiris, nor by the world. India has a long and shameful history of cheating Kashmiris, which the locals cannot forget.
Massacres continued in occupied Kashmir this month as well, whereas fake police encounters and extrajudicial killings have been rampant.
The blood of martyrs will not go in vain and the Kashmiris' dream of independence will come true one day.
Every year, on July 13, Kashmiris reiterate their commitment to freedom from Indian oppression. The day is, by all means, a sign of Kashmiris' determination and struggle.
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