The seventh death anniversary of, Tufail Mattoo, a 17-year old boy whose killing sparked the 2010 public uprising, was observed today.
A gathering was held at Shaheed Malguzar (Martyrs graveyard) in the Eidgah area of Srinagar, where Mattoo is buried.
Mattoo was shot by the Indian armed forces. A tear gas canister had hit him on the head, due to which he lost his life back in 2010. Mattoo was coming back home from his tuitions when the incident happened.
In the same year a spree of killings took place where 110 people were killed, out of which an overwhelming majority were children.
Muhammad Ashraf Mattoo , along with Farooq Ahmad Wani, father of Wamiq Farooq, another teenager who was also killed in a similar manner, displayed a banner to pay homage to the their sons who are considered as martyrs by the majority of the Muslim population of Kashmir.
Muhammad Ashraf Mattoo says, “Kashmir should be addressed as a valley of Martyrs, due to the number of slain youth in the region,” as he distributes a three page pamphlet which he has printed, which highlights the issue of “Genocide of Teenagers”.
Several leaders from the pro-freedom amalgam, Hurriyat Conference, and other organisations, were present and paid a tribute to Tufail Mttoo .
One of the leaders while addressing the gathering leader also mentioned Danish Sultan a 12 year old child who was forced to jump into Jehlum, after he was chased by Indian armed forces, and lost his life by drowning .
He also mentioned about Suhail Sheikh who helped in finding the drowned body of Danish Sultan, but instead of being rewarded he was slapped with a Public Safety Act (PSA), a draconian law used to quell dissent in Kashmir, which allows the police to detain people without charges for six months on paper. In practice consecutive PSAs allow the police to unendingly detain a person without any charges.
“We need to remember these sacrifices and pray as a community that justice prevails in the valley,” the leader said. Jointly the leaders stressed on the importance of unity in the community and remembrance of these martyrs.
Mohammad Ashraf Mattoo, said that his struggle for justice will continue.