Maqbool Butt(National Hero) Day in Kashmir - 2002-02-12

SRINAGAR (AFP) - Shops and businesses closed their shutters in Srinagar and other parts of Held Valley on Monday for a one-day strike on the anniversary of the execution of a top separatist rebel.

Maqbool Bhat, the founder leader of the Nationalist and Secular movement in Kashmir, was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail on February 11, 1984.

Since the launch of the armed struggle against Indian rule in Kashmir in 1989, Kashmiris have regularly observed a strike to mark each anniversary of Bhat’s execution.

‘Bhat’s mission will be taken to its logical conclusion,?said the chairman of the JKLF, Yasin Malik. ‘His sacrifice will not go waste.?

The JKLF laid down arms in 1994 and became a political group. It is now a key member of the All Party Hurriyat Conference.

Meanwhile, Indian security forces said they had killed nine Mujahideen.

A police spokesman said three Mujahideen were killed in two separate encounters in the southern district of Doda overnight Sunday, while four more were shot dead near the southern towns of Anantnag and Pulwama.

‘The encounters erupted during cordon and search operations by troops,?a spokesman said.

Two more were shot dead Monday morning in Kupwara district.

Roshan Mughal from Muzaffarabad adds: To pay homage to Bhat ceremonies were held across the both parts of divided state in which speakers renewed the pledge to offer every sacrifice for the freedom of their subjugated motherland.
Nationalist organisations including Jammu and Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and All Parties National Alliance (APNA) held public meetings and rallies in the AJK to observe the death anniversary of late freedom fighter during which they renewed the resolve to step up struggle for the freedom of Kashmir.

The JKNSF and APNA held public meetings at Upper Adha and central Press Club respectively to remember the supreme sacrifice of Maqbool Bhat and to pay homage to him while the JKLF organised a seminar at the University Auditorium to offer tributes to him.

Nationalist groups also organised ceremonies and public meetings in Mirpur, Rawalakot, Bagh, and Kotli to observe the Maqbool Bhat’s death anniversary.

Addressing a public meeting at Upper Adha, JKNSF President Syed Shujaat Kazmi said that Kashmir will fight for national freedom and they will not allow any one to paint Kashmir liberation movement as a religious movement.
He said Kashmiris would have to fight against the forces of exploitations and occupation.

“We do not accept the UN resolution on Kashmir and also do not have trust in the UN regarding the solution of Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of Kashmiris?Kazmi said. He added “the UN has become the slave of USA who does not want peace in the world so that she could sell arm to the confronting nations.?

He urged people of Pakistan and India to raise against fundamentalists and wage a war against them in both countries.

Professor Khaleeq Ahmed, Shoukat Ganai advocate, SM Kazmi and Zulfiqar Butt also addressed the gathering.
India had hanged pioneer freedom fighter Maqbool Butt in 1984 in Tahar Jail in Srinagar on the charges of hijacking an Indian airliner and murdering an Indian diplomat.

The ceremonies also paid tributes to those who embraced martyrdom while crossing the Line of Control in Chakothi on Feb. 11, 1990 by the firing of Indian army from across the LoC.

Posted on 2002-02-12