In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, complete shutdown was observed, today, to mark the 37th martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt.
Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut, while public transport was largely off the roads during the strike, call for which was given by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and other pro-freedom leaders and organizations.
Maqbool Butt was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on this day in 1984 for his active role in pro-freedom activities and was buried in the jail premises. Indian authorities imposed strict restrictions to prevent anti-India protests. The troops were deployed at all entry and exit points while the roads were blocked with barricades.
Hurriyat leaders and organizations including All Parties Hurriyat Conference in their statements in Srinagar while paying tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Butt said that martyrs like him are symbols of Kashmiris’ resistance against Indian illegal occupation.
The APHC spokesman said that the Kashmiris would never allow any sell-out of the exemplary sacrifices of their martyrs. Other Hurriyat leaders including Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Mohammad Iqbal Mir, Mir Shahid Saleem, Javaid Ahmed Mir and Aquib Wani called upon India to accept the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir and pave the way for settlement of the Kashmir dispute through a UN-sponsored free and fair plebiscite.
Various Sikh bodies at a meeting presided over by Narinder Singh Khalsa in Jammu to remember Maqbool Butt said that the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs have contributed immensely to expose the brutal and inhuman face of communal India vis-à-vis Kashmir’s indigenous freedom movement.
Srinagar-based rights defender Mohammad Ahsan Untoo in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres drew his attention towards the deteriorating human rights situation in Kashmir. He said the occupied territory has been witnessing bloodshed, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, rape, torture and imprisonments under draconian laws over the past many years.
Rallies and functions were held in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Islamabad and some European countries to pay tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Butt. Kashmir Council Europe Chairman Ali Raza Syed presiding over a meeting of the Council in Brussels demanded the handover of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru to their families in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred a 60-year-old Kashmiri, Sarfraz Ahmad, in Uri area of Baramulla district. The victim was buried in an Indian army-run graveyard in Uri.—KMS