Eighty-five years ago, on July 13, the Dora Governor, Ray Zada Chand, ordered his troops to open fire to quell protesters outside Srinagar's central jail who had assembled there to express solidarity with Abdul Qadeer Khan. Qadeer was arrested for his June 21, 1931, speech at Khankah-e-Moula. In his speech he, while pointing towards the Dogra palace said: "Demolish the edifice of injustice, subjugation and cruelty."
The firing left 22 persons dead on the spot. Scores were injured. However, according to noted historian, late Fida Muhammad Hasnain, 28 persons died and the deceased included two women. He has identified the deceased women as Jana and Mughli in his book Freedom Struggle in Kashmir. This is all people know about these martyrs.
The irony is that the women martyrs do not figure in the list of the martyrs. There are 22 names only and all of them are males.
Kashmir was under autocratic rule then but has anything changed after its transition to democracy, questioned senior lawyer, Advocate GN Shaheen.
According to him, women were not safe then and they are falling to bullets in streets of Kashmir now.
Pertinently, series of protests across Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his associates at Kokernag last week left around 32 persons dead and around 1300 wounded. The deceased include Yasmeena of Damhaal Hanjipora, Kulgam.
Yasmeena, however, is a bit lucky than Jana and Mughli. She may find a proper mention in the history books, a senior journalist told Greater Kashmir. But will it make any difference to her?
Late Professor Fida Hasnain in an email sent to the then executive editor of Greater Kashmir in 2007 urged him to write about these heroines of Kashmir. They deserve a better deal," he said.