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College Agitation In Kishtwar

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In the year 1969 A.D people of Kishtwar gave vent to their pent up feelings. They resorted to a strong agitation for the opening of Degree College at Kishtwar. The people of Kishtwar had no other alternative but to resort to agitation. The students came out on streets and demanded for the opening of a Degree College at Kishtwar. They resorted to strikes, raised slogans and boycotted their classes for a long time. It spread in the suburban areas also and , by and by, to far off places in the tehsils. People of Kishtwar irrespective of caste, color and creed backed up  the agitation. Shopkeepers closed their shops and gave full support to the agitating students.. G.M. Saddiq, CM J&K State, visited Kishtwar in the summer of 1969. students put forth their demand of opening of a Degree College Kishtwar. Public of Kishtwar fully supported the demand in the public meeting presided by the CM but he turned down the demand and all the hopes of the people were dashed to the ground.

The agitation for opening of a degree college at Kishtwar was again revived in 1974. The students of local schools came out on streets and the schools remained closed for more than a month. there were band calls off and on and the work in Govt. offices got paralyzed. The students organized processions and passed through the streets of the town. Soon the agitation mustered full public support and sympathy. The agitation gained a tremendous impetus. All the social, religious and political leaders joined the agitation. Apart from processions, public rallies and meetings the students started hunger strikes which boosted the morale of the agitators, gave it a momentum and highlighted it beyond Kishtwar. The leaders of various organisation and political parties from outside Kishtwar visited Kishtwar town and displayed their solidarity with the agitating masses of this place. They fully supported their genuine demand.

  On 13th Sept., 1974, when people of Kishtwar took out a procession from tehsils office towards Bus Stands, the mob turned violent. The police resorted to indiscriminate firing. four youth of Kishtwar namely Ravinder Kumar Gupta S/O Dhani Ram Gupta of Kishtwar town, Gian Chand Bhagat son of Sulla Ram of Nagini Kishtwar town,  Mohd. Iqbal Zerger son of Abdul Rashid Zerger of Kishtwar town and Abdul Kabir son of Saja Begum of Kishtwar town fell victims to the bullets of the police firing. This gory and ghastly incident left entire Kishtwar aggrieved and agonized. The dead bodies were cremated and buried amidst heart-rending screams near Boys Higher secondary School Kishtwar now called “Shaheedi Mazaar”. Thousands of people joined the funeral procession, raised anti-govt. slogans and performed last rites of the martyrs It sent shock wares throughout Jammu Division. Every year on 13th of September, “Shaheedi Divas”  has been celebrated in Kishtwar district. All schools, colleges, govt. and private offices etc. remained closed on that day.

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