13th July – Kashmir Martyr’s Day

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• Martyrs’ Day or Kashmir Day is a former official state holiday observed in Kashmir.
• It is celebrated in remembrance of 21 Protestors killed on 13 July 1931 by forces of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
• In 1925, Hari Singh became the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh belonged to a Hindu Dogra dynasty, while Jammu and Kashmir had a predominantly Muslim population.
• During Singh’s rule, Muslims were generally poor, and their interests were not adequately represented. The ban of Muslim sermons in 1931 caused widespread demonstrations in the city of Jammu.
• On this day, Kashmiri Muslims protesting outside the Srinagar Central Jail premises were fired upon by the state forces after refusing to disperse on forcefully entering the prison premises.
• The protestors had gathered in support of Abdul Qadeer who was being held and tried on charges of sedition.
• Abdul Qadeer Khan was an employee of an English army officer, Major Butt of the Yorkshire Regiment, posted at Peshawar.
• Abdul Qadeer had been attending the protest meetings against the government and at Kanqah-i-Maula, on 21 June 1931, he delivered an inciting address to the crowd.
• The crowds buried the bodies of those killed by the state forces in the graveyard attached to the Shrine of KhwajaBahawuddin Naqshbandi in Srinagar.
• The graveyard has since come to be known as Mazar-e-Shuhada or the Martyrs’ Graveyard.
• The day was removed as an official holiday of Jammu and Kashmir by the Government of India in December 2019.
• The Government of Pakistan still marks the day as National Day.