The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday paid glowing tributes to the 13 July martyrs, stating that their role in Jammu and Kashmir’s freedom struggle can neither be undone nor can be forgotten.

In a statement, PDP spokesman said that the memory of 13 July martyrs cannot be erased by changing the government calendar of holidays as they will live forever in the hearts and memories of every freedom-loving Democrat.

He said that the martyrs laid down their lives for the empowerment of the people of J&K and that it is tragic that the “myopic and communal actions” of the present government demolished with one stroke on 5 August last year all the progress that had been achieved in the last seven decades.

“The resultant ‘chaos’ is now showing results that are completely opposite to what had been sold to the people of India at the time of scrapping of state Constitution and special status granted by the constitution of India,” said the spokesman.

He said that PDP reiterates its commitment to the objectives of justice, empowerment and democratic rights that the martyrs have laid their lives down for.

“Though the 13 July movement had originally started as a campaign for the empowerment of Muslims of the then princely state, it had later evolved into the most inclusive and secular movements of the pre-independence era.

“Unfortunately for the present government, it became the main target of its ‘agenda of hate’. The people will, however, continue their struggle to resist demographic change, disempowerment, and oppression through democratic, constitutional and non-violent means to rebuild the state in accordance with our traditions of tolerance, accommodation and amity,” said the PDP spokesman.

“We reject the undemocratic status quo imposed on us by the BJP government, which has deprived us of our autonomy, freedom and human dignity which underpin the constitution. We demand an immediate end to the centre’s denial of the political issue. Our people have endured a brutal security clampdown and the world’s longest internet shutdown. Many of our people continue to be unjustifiably held in prisons despite huge risks to their lives from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our voices have been ignored, our institutions erased. We cannot afford to remain silent any longer. We must act now to restore our dignity and take charge of our own destinies,” said the PDP spokesman.

The spokesman added, “We are proud of our shared identity, the historical, cultural and political bonds that connect our all three regions and various parts on both sides of the Line of Control. Our people have shown remarkable resilience and unity in the face of natural and imposed crises and lockdowns.”