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On July 13, 1931 thousands of Kashmiris had flocked to Central Jail, Srinagar to witness the trial of Abdul Qadeer. As the time for obligatory prayer approached one Kashmiri stood up to deliver adhan. The Dogra Governor Ray Zada Tartilok Chand ordered his soldiers to open fire on him. When he was killed another Kashmiri stood up to continue the adhan from the verse where the adhan had been broken. He too was killed. A total of 22 Kashmiris were killed trying to complete delivering the adhan.[1]

The people carried the dead and paraded through the streets of Srinagar, chanting slogans against Dogra brutalities. The incident shook the whole state and week long mourning was observed. Traffic between Srinagar and Rawalpindi and between Srinagar and Jammu was halted between July 13 and July 26, 1931.[1] The protests intensified after the killings, with communal anti-Hindu riots also breaking out, leading to the death of three Hindus, many more wounded and many Hindu-owned shops being looted.[2][3] The Hindus retaliated, leading to outbreak of riots between the two groups.[4] The uprising and violence spread to Kashmir Province and Jammu as well. Three British companies, numbering about 500 soldiers were sent to support Hari Singh and restore law and order. The incident also led to the young Sheikh Abdullah coming into prominence, with his rivalry with the Maharaja continuing until 1947.[5]

BackgroundEdit

Kashmiri Muslims were oppressed under Dogra rule and were subject to slave labour, heavy taxes and state terror.[1]

Kashmir DayEdit

Through the intervention of Muslim sympathisers outside Kashmir, the 14th of August was set apart as Kashmir Day and observed throughout several parts of India. Demonstrations and meetings were held in sympathy with Kashmiri Muslims. The meetings adopted resolutions calling for the conferral of rights such as freedom of religion and restoration of mosques and shrines to Muslims. The resolutions demanded that compensation be granted to the dependants of those killed or injured in the agitation. The resolutions also demanded that a commission be appointed to investigate the conduct of civil and military officers during the agitation. Kashmir Day was also observed in Kashmir.[6]

Meeting with the MaharajahEdit

Muslim representatives gave an address to the Maharajah on the 15th of August. These representatives included Mirwaiz Moulvi Mohammed Yousuf Shah, Mirwaiz Hamadani, Syed Hussain Shah Jalali, Saad-ud-din Shawl, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, Ghulam Ahmad Ashai, Yaqub Ali, Munshi Shahab-ud-Din, Ghulam Abbas and Gauhar Rehman.[7]

They made a series of accusations against Hindus in general and against the State administration and Prime Minister in particular. They also alleged that evidence was being fabricated and that influence was being brought to suppress true evidence given before the Riots Enquiry Committee.[8]

The Maharajah refused to dismiss the Prime Minister and rejected the Muslim leaders' allegations as 'unfounded'.[8]

Temporary TruceEdit

The Muslims were again discontent but their leaders met the Prime Minister on the 26th of August and signed an undertaking. They agreed in the undertaking to cease the agitation.[9]

AftermathEdit

The agitation temporarily subsided, owing mainly to the conciliatory attitude adopted by the Kashmir Darbar towards its subjects and its allowing Ahrar-i-Islam, Mazhar Ali Azhar and two companions to visit Kashmir in a private capacity.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Kashmir Martyrs Day observed". The Nation. 14 July 2015. http://nation.com.pk/national/14-Jul-2015/kashmir-martyrs-day-observed. 
  2. Devaraju Nagarjun (2015). Clash of Identities Ethnic Conflict of Kashmir Dispute. University of California. p. 6. 
  3. Rekha Chowdhary (2004). Jammu and Kashmir: Politics of Identity and Separatism. Routledge. p. 30. 
  4. Kwasi Kwarteng (2011). Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 260. 
  5. Christopher Snedden (2015). Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris. Oxford University Press. p. 131. 
  6. Kaur, Ravinderjit (1996). Political Awakening in Kashmir. APH Publishing. pp. 153. ISBN 9788170247098. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=fLCCbohBKzcC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=1931+kashmir+22&source=bl&ots=LhdVDNJTfF&sig=CRmHLZFnI0esSRsqSdHYOLf0XVE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiIhZXswczQAhUFKJQKHXF3D784ChDoAQgeMAI#v=onepage&q=1931%20kashmir%2022&f=false. 
  7. Kaur, Ravinderjit (1996). Political Awakening in Kashmir. APH Publishing. pp. 154. ISBN 9788170247098. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=fLCCbohBKzcC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=1931+kashmir+22&source=bl&ots=LhdVDNJTfF&sig=CRmHLZFnI0esSRsqSdHYOLf0XVE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiIhZXswczQAhUFKJQKHXF3D784ChDoAQgeMAI#v=onepage&q=1931%20kashmir%2022&f=false. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kaur, Ravinderjit (1996). Political Awakening in Kashmir. APH Publishing. pp. 154. ISBN 9788170247098. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=fLCCbohBKzcC&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=1931+kashmir+22&source=bl&ots=LhdVDNJTfF&sig=CRmHLZFnI0esSRsqSdHYOLf0XVE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiIhZXswczQAhUFKJQKHXF3D784ChDoAQgeMAI#v=onepage&q=1931%20kashmir%2022&f=false. 
  9. Kaur, Ravinderjit (1996). Political Awakening in Kashmir. APH Publishing. pp. 154. ISBN 9788170247098. https://books.google.com.au/books?id=fLCCbohBKzcC&dq=1931+kashmir+22&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 

Further readingEdit

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