Jammu: As separatists called for a strike in Kashmir Valley to observe Martyrs' day today, several organizations representing Kashmiri Pandits observed ‘black day' here and held protests describing it as a day of “loot and plunder” of the properties of the community members. Led by Panun Kashmir, a joint forum of organizations representing Kashmiri Pandits held a demonstration outside the Press Club here.
“This day is being observed by the Kashmiri Pandit community as black day since 1931 in commemoration of the persecution that was inflicted upon the community on that day in the Kashmir Valley.
“On this day, the Hindu community was subjected to loot, arson, murder and mayhem on a large scale in the Valley,” said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir. Chrungoo was flanked by president of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference R K Raina, VHP leader Ramakant Dubey, president of AIKPC H N Jattu and several other leaders of local outfits.
The Panun Kashmir chief claimed, “In 1931, mobs under the supervision of communal forces looted properties and houses at Vicharnag, Maharaj Ganj (the hub of business activity), Amirakadal, Hari Singh High Street and parts of Bohrikadal in Srinagar city.”
Kashmira Vahini, the the women wing of Panun Kashmir, also observed ‘Black day' to mark the occasion. Meanwhile, in Srinagar, a strike was called by separatist groups to mark the Martyr's day in memory of 22 persons killed during protests by Dogra forces in 1931. Shops and business establishments in most parts of the Valley were shut and public transport was off the roads, officials said.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited the graveyard and paid floral tributes to the martyrs.
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Member of Parliament from Srinagar, Tariq Hameed Karra, spokesman Naeem Akhtar and other party leaders also paid their tributes to the martyrs.