SRINAGAR: A partial shutdown was observed at many places in Kashmir on Tuesday to mark Martyrs’ Day, July 13. Many markets in the city, including Zainakadal, Nowhatta, Rainawari, Safakadal, and Maisuma remained shut. So were other markets in Kashmir valley. Public transport was off the roads in many towns. There was also not much public movement on the streets, reports from across the valley said.
The government had sealed off the martyrs’ graveyard in the old city area to prevent people from assembling to pay homage to the 22 martyrs buried there, The entry to the graveyard in Khawaja Bazaar near Nowhatta was sealed and government forces were deployed to prevent anyone from going in, officials said.
The National Conference (NC) and the PDP had applied to the Srinagar district magistrate for permission to visit the graveyard for paying tributes to the martyrs of 1931, but they were denied the permission, the parties said in separate statements.
Till 2019, July 13 was officially observed as ‘Martyrs Day’ with senior officials, including the Governor, Chief Minister, police officers, and political parties all offering tributes at the martyrs’ graveyard. However, after the abrogation of J&K’s special constitutional position in August 2019, the Lieutenant Governor’s administration dropped July 13 from J&K’s official holiday calendar. Since then, no official visits to the graveyard have happened nor any official statement issued on the occasion.