Mystery still surrounds the man who raised the first voice against tyranny in 1931

While quoting his family members who according to him knew Khan, he said that the real name of Khan was Abdul Qadeer Qureshi who hailed from Poonch.

Mudasir Yaqoob
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 13 2018 12:54AM | Updated Date: Jul 13 2018 12:54AM
Mystery still surrounds the man who raised the first voice against tyranny in 1931File Photo

To him would always go the credit of raising the first voice against tyranny in 1931. But all these years and many protests later there is not a single monument anywhere in Kashmir for Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man who roused the people of Kashmir to fight autocratic rule. Not much is even known about what happened to Khan at the end of the trial.

The united leadership of 1931which was nominated as representatives of the Kashmiris during the meeting held at Khankah-i-Moula in Srinagar didn’t make any effort to know about the whereabouts of Khan after 13 July 1931. It was at the end of this meeting that Khan took the stage and addressed the people.

Muhammad Azeem Tuman (81) of Baghwanpora Lal Bazar claimed that Khan was staying in their houseboat Patria at Foreshore Road as butler to a British army officer Colonel Alford Butt. Quoting her deceased mother Khatija, he said that Qadeer was God fearing person. Khatija died in 1995 at the age of 91.

“We had a made-in-England knife in our kitchen. Qadeer had taken it along to Khankh-i-Moula when he had left the houseboat in June 1931 and delivered speech there. He had said to my family that he would cut the head of Maharaja with that knife. On return, he had kept this knife back in our kitchen and it is still with us,” he said.

While quoting his family members who according to him knew Khan, he said that the real name of Khan was Abdul Qadeer Qureshi who hailed from Poonch.

He said that the police arrested him from the houseboat in a dramatic way. “In the evening, a man asked Qadeer to come out of the houseboat. As Qadeer looked out from houseboat as to who was calling, the man started lauding him for fiery speech he had made during the day at Khankh-i-Moula. As Qadeer went to the man, he blew the whistle and a contingent of police appeared to arrest him. The man was a police officer who tricked Qadeer into a trap,” he said while quoting his mother, adding, “This was the last time my family saw him.”

Tuman claimed that he had a photograph of Khan and had handed it over to the photographer on request of his friends few years ago. He also claimed that he had a testimony (letter) of British army officer who had employed Qadeer.

Some researchers believe Khan was from Gutli Bagh, Ganderbal whose relatives still live there. His grave is believed to be somewhere between Goni Khan and Lal Ded hospital and no effort has been made by any quarter to locate his it.

Zarief Ahmad Zarief, the noted Kashmiri poet said that “the role of the then united leadership is suspicious as to why they didn’t make any effort to know about the fate of Qadeer after 13 July 1931.”

“We have not achieved the cause for which Qadeer delivered the revolutionary speech in 1931. The day the movement would be taken to its logical conclusion, memorials will be made in honour of national heroes,” he said.

 

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