July 2006 News

Martyrs' Day observed in Kashmir, leaders pay tribute

13 July 2006
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: Mainstream politicians on Thursday paid tributes to those who sacrificed their lives in fighting the Dogra rule on July 13, 1931. Amid a general strike called by separatists, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and National Conference president Omar Abdullah led their parties in paying homage to the 22 martyrs who were fired upon outside the central jail in Srinagar. Amid tight security, Mr. Azad, accompanied by Pradesh Congress chief and Sports Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, arrived at the shrine of Naqashband Saheb in downtown Srinagar where the martyrs' graveyard is located. He laid floral wreaths on their graves and offered prayers. He also inspected a guard of honour by police. The Mufti also visited the site and paid floral tributes. He said the sacrifice of the people led to the formation of a democratic government in 1947. He appealed to the people to extend the fullest cooperation in achieving a long-lasting and dignified peace in the State. He hoped that the peace process between India and Pakistan would reach its logical conclusion so that the State people could once again enjoy peace, prosperity and development. Mr. Omar Abdullah, accompanied by party leaders Ali Mohammad Sagar and Abdur Raheem Rather, also paid floral tributes. He said the martyrs had laid a strong foundation for a democratic and just system. On Wednesday, chairman of the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a veiled reference to the National Conference, alleged that the mainstream group was 'exploiting the sentiments of Kashmiris and by celebrating martyrs' day was humiliating the grand sacrifices made for liberation of Kashmir from alien rule'. Separatists had called for a general strike on Thursday and all shops and business establishments were closed for the day.


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