Baramulla: Pattan remembered on Saturday the 17 men who were massacred by Indian army on 1 August 1990.
All shops and other business establishments remained closed in the town as a mark of respect for the martyrs who were mowed down in the market by an army convoy, which allegedly took a misfire of one of its own soldiers as an attack.
The soldiers had first beaten up people, sprayed bullets at them and then set the market ablaze. The market was set on fire by government forces on two other occasions as well.
Hundreds of people, shouting pro-freedom slogans and paying homage to the massacred people, marched to the local Martyrs Graveyard and offered prayers to the victims.
Jammu and Kashmir National Front and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat had organised the march. After offering prayers at the graves of the martyrs, the people marched to, and assembled at, the Pattan market where JKNF chairman Nayeem Khan and Hurriyat Conference (G) general secretary Ghulam Mohammad Tantray addressed them.
Khan said Kashmiri Muslims “have been massacred only because they have asked India to fulfill promises it made at the United Nations”.
“Although India has killed more than one hundred thousand freedom-loving Kashmiris during the past 25 years, the demand for independence from every nook and corner is only growing shriller. New Delhi should read the writing on the wall and accept the just demand of Kashmirs,” he added.
By granting Kashmiris their political rights, India can build good relations with Pakistan, which will lead to prosperity in South Asia.
Khan also asked people not to strengthen the “hands of the collaborators whose hands are soaked with the blood of Muslims”.
Tantray also asked people to remember the sacrifices of those who “laid down their lives for betterment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.