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July 13: A Martyrs' Day or Black Day for Kashmir?
July 13 is celebrated as Martyrs' Day in Jammu and Kashmir to remember those who were killed in police action in 1931.

Official functions are organised on the day which has been declared as a holiday in the state. But, is it fair to declare those who create law and order problem as martyrs?

July 13 has a special significance in the history of Jammu and Kashmir as it is celebrated as Martyrs' Day by a section of Kashmiris, particularly the majority community, while it is observed as Black Day by the Hindus of the state.

If one goes by the history of the fateful day of July 13, 1931, twenty-two people were killed and over five dozens were injured in firing by the soldiers of the Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. But that section of Kashmiris fails to understand that what had prompted the security forces to open fire on the crowd!

In 1931, Kashmir was under the rule of Hindu ruler Maharaja Hari Singh who had taken over the reins of the princely state in 1925. Although, Maharaja Hari Singh was known as pro-people and a liberal ruler, but a section of the majority community in Kashmir started spreading false propaganda against the Maharaja and incited a revolt against him.

On July 13, 1931, a large crowd gathered outside the Central Jail in Srinagar where a hearing was scheduled to take place against a person who had been arrested under sedition charges and for spreading communal violence.

Reports said that the crowd broke-open the main gate of the jail and freed some inmates. The soldiers deployed there found the situation tough to control following which firing was ordered and consequently 22 people were killed.

Later, the crowd of the majority community ransacked and targeted the minority community in Srinagar killing three of them besides injuring many others. Property of the minority community was also damaged.

But the question arises that whether those killed while disturbing law and order can be termed as 'martyrs'? If yes, then all those killed post 1931 in such incidents must be declared martyrs.

In my opinion, they cannot be termed as martyrs and there should be no state function or any holiday on July 13 as it is just a 'Black Day' in the history of the state!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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