SRINAGAR, Feb 11 (SABAH): In occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown was observed on Sunday to mark the martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt. Call for the shutdown and a march towards the UN office at Sonawar in Srinagar has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.
The objective of the strike and the march was to press the demand for the return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Muhammad Afzal Guru to their families.
India had hanged Muhammad Maqbool Butt in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on 11th February in 1984 and Muhammad Afzal Guru in the same jail on 9th February, 2013, for their role in the Kashmir freedom movement. Their bodies remain buried in the premises of the jail.
Meanwhile Hurriyat leaders on Sunday paid glowing tributes to Muhammad Maqbool Bhat on his 34th death anniversary, saying that “we are duty bound to safeguard his sacrifices.”
“We reiterate our demand for the return of the mortal remains of Shaheed Muhammad Maqbool Bhat and Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Guru. Although it is purely a human issue, still India refused to return their mortal remains. No country other than India set this wrong precedence and in this way its claim of being the largest democracy in the world is getting badly exposed,” All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in a statement, said.
Syed Ali Geelani said, “Nations never forget their heroes. They are source of inspiration for us and the best way to pay tributes to them is that the nation should not forget these brave sons of the soil, who had sacrificed their present for the future of the nation.”
“We have presented unparalleled sacrifices and now it is very imperative and obligatory to safeguard them. We need to check loopholes and control our feeble points as all these weaknesses harm cherished mission of our martyrs,” he said, adding that “The nation should exhibit steadfastness and unanimity and keep aloof from India and its local stooges. People should not support them as all these activities prove detrimental for our freedom movement.”
Meanwhile, a delegation of Hurriyat leaders visited residence of Muhammad Afzal Guru and presented Tafheem-ul-Quran to his son Galib Guru and expressed their sympathy and solidarity.
Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik described Maqbool Bhat “an ideologue, statesman, warrior, political leader and diplomat who led this nation on all fronts and sacrificed his life for the sacred cause.”
“The struggle and sacrifice of Shaheed Baba I Qaum Muhammad Maqbool Butt is a corner stone of Kashmiri resistance movement against forced control and symbol of freedom and liberty. He will always remain as a symbol of freedom and liberty not only for Kashmiri nation but for all the nations that are striving for their freedom and liberty. Martyr Muhammad Maqbool Butt was not an ordinary person. He an intellectual who visualized of liberating his nation from foreign control, pursued his dream, strived hard for it and sacrificed his life for this righteous cause,” a spokesman of the JKLF, in a statement, quoted Yasin Malik as having said in his message from Central Jail, Srinagar.
“Struggle and martyrdom of father of Kashmiri nation is a glorious chapter of our history that will always guide us through the tough journey of freedom struggle,” he said.
Paying tributes to Bhat, the Democratic Liberation Party (DLP) asked people of Kashmir to observe a complete shutdown in his memory. DLP chief Hashim Qureshi said, “people like Bhat are born in centuries.”
“People of Jammu and Kashmir are feeling proud as Bhat has born in the valley. Bhat has lit the candle of freedom struggle and thousands of Kashmiri youth who followed the path of Bhat have also sacrificed their lives for the sacred cause,” he added.
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (H), Javaid Ahmad Mir, carried a signature campaign at different places in central Kashmir’s Srinagar and Budgam districts to press the demand for return of the mortal remains of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat and Muhammad Afzal Guru.
“Kashmiri people will never forget the sacrifices of both the sons of soil who had devoted their lives for the Kashmir cause. Instead of surrendering before Indian government, they preferred to embrace gallows,” the Front spokesman quoted Javaid Mir as having said, adding that “It is our responsibility to protect these sacrifices.”