Each year July 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Kashmir when unionists turn up at Old City’s graveyard to pay floral tribute to 21 martyrs who fell to Dogra bullets this day in 1931. Kashmir Life’s Photo Chief Bilal Bahadur captures some glimpses of the day
As trumpets started blowing to mark 84th Martyrs Day in Kashmir, the parts of Old City–caged for the day, rose early to witness an annual exercise amid tight security through their windows.
Shortly after people finished their pre-dawn meals, cops showed up in the area falling in close vicinity of Martyrs Graveyard at Khawaja Naqeshband Sahab Shrine, nearby Nowhatta. Many policemen went inside residences to keep close eye on security of who’s who turning up at the graveyard for floral tribute.
And then came the chief minister with his ministers greeted by showering skies.
Amid rainfall, the band left their trumpets under open skies and took shelter at periphery.
After a brief interval with rains having momentary hiatus, the men took their position to give their signature salute to 21 Martyrs who fell to Dogra bullets this day in 1931.
After salute, the floral tribute followed. Apart from Mufti Sayeed and ministers, the opposition leader Omar Abdullah and others also showed up to pay tribute to Martyrs.
Outside the graveyard, everything had apparently come to standstill. A large contingent of police and paramilitary party manning streets had reduced the area into lifelessness.
To thwart any possible sign of protest in restive Nowhatta area nearby, a heavy reinforcement had been called.
At a stone’s throw from the graveyard, a cop had a busy day out!