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Kashmir civil society awards massacre martyr

by Nighat Jabeen

Nov 23, 2006:

Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a Srinagar based civil rights group, awarded Abdur Rauf Ahmad Wani with the Robert Thorpe Award 2006 at a function here today.

Abdual Rauf Wani was killed along with 51 others in police firing on Kashmiri protestors in Gawkadal Srinagar on January 21, 1990. Wani was awarded for his 'exemplary courage and bravery' in the incident.

The Robert Thorpe award was founded by JKCCS in 2003 and is given annually to 'Heroes of Kashmir'.

"Rauf Wani bared his chest to LMG fire of a slodier and recieved 32 bullets saving many precious lives," a JKCCS member said.

Gawkadal shooting was the first big incident in which Indian security forces resorted to indiscriminiate firing on civilian protestors, after the outbreak of armed insurgency in Indian administered Kashmir in 1989.

"Gawkadal Massacre became a turning point after which thousands of youth took to armed struggle in Kashmir," said Shiekh Showkat a teacher at the Law Faculty, Unversity of Kashmir.

The award was recieved by Wani's sister Zulehuma, who broke down recalling the memories of this brother.

Zulehuma also thanked JKCCS for 'remembering the forgotten heroes of Kashmir'.

JKCCS also paid tributes to Mir Abdul Aziz, a Kashmiri journalist who died in Pakistan administered Kashmir in 2000. JKCCS described Mir as a freedom loving journalist.

Mir Abdul Aziz was thrown out of the state in 1947, along with his mentors Mirwaiz Moulana Yousuf Shah and Prem Nath Bazaz, for his association with Muslim Students Federation and Muslim League, JKCCS said.

Born in Srinagar Mir was associated with newspapers Hamdard,Millat , and , Jowhar , upto 1947. In Pakistan administered Kashmir where he lived after 1947 he edited, Insaf , and, Times of Kashmir , and had also been In Charge of AJK Radio, Tradkhal.

The speakers at the JKCCS function emphasied the need for documentation of history of Kashmir by Kashmiris.

"The history of Kashmir has always been written by outsiders, by occupation forces and their collabrators. They have portrayed Kashmir history as it suited them," said Hamida Bano, a teacher at the English Department University of Kashmir.


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