In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, shutdown was observed, today, to mark the 39th martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt.
Call for the shutdown was given by All Parties Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Muhammad Maqbool Butt was hanged by India in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on this day in 1984 for his leading role in the Kashmiris’ ongoing freedom movement and his dead body was buried in the premises of the prison.
Indian Army and police had asked the shopkeepers to keep their shops open and warned them that their outlets will be sealed if they did not obey the order. However, despite the threat, shopkeepers in most parts of the Valley observed shutdown to remember their martyred leader. The movement of traffic on the roads was also very thin. The occupation authorities deployed Indian troops and police personnel in strength across the Kashmir Valley to prevent people from staging anti-India demonstrations.
Meanwhile, illegally detained APHC Chairman, Masarrat Aalam Butt, and other Hurriyat leaders paying rich tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Butt reiterated the Kashmiris’ resolve to accomplish the mission of their martyrs at all costs. Masarrat Aalam Butt in a message sent from Tihar Jail said the Kashmiri people are duty-bound to safeguard the sacrifices of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and other martyrs by taking their mission to its logical conclusion.
Incarcerated senior APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, in his message from Tihar Jail maintained that the Kashmiris will not allow the blood of their martyrs including Muhammad Maqbool Butt to go waste and will continue their struggle till they achieve freedom from Indian yoke.
Other APHC leaders including Farida Bahenji, Khadim Hussain and Syed Sibte Shabbir Qummi in their statements in Srinagar maintained that Maqbool Butt’s contribution and sacrifices in the Kashmir freedom movement will always be remembered. APHC-AJK chapter Convener, Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, and other leaders including Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, Sheikh Abdul Mateen and Imtiaz Wani in their statements in Islamabad also paid homage to Maqbool Butt.
On the other hand, people held protest demonstrations in Srinagar, Bandipora and Jammu areas against the ongoing evictions being carried out by the authorities in the name of anti-encroachment drive, which is actually aimed at grabbing the land and properties of the Muslims and rendering them homeless. The protesters were holding placards which read “stop bulldozing and stop demolishing houses of poor”.—KMS