To mark the landing of Indian troops on the soil of Jammu and Kashmir, October 27 was observed as Accession Day in the state. Various function in this connection were organised wherein people remembered the martyrs who sacrificed their lives in safeguarding the valley from tribal marauders. In Baramulla, Yaum-e-Shohda was observed in memory of Shaheed Maqbool Sherwani, who laid down his life in defence of the ideals of Kashmir and India at a young age of 35 on November 7, 1947.
It was Mohammad Maqbool Sherwani who deliberately misguided the infiltrators on to wrong routes and made them lose four precious days by which time the Indian Army was able to reach Srinagar for its defence and that proved to be a turning point for the future of Kashmir and India. Having delayed the infiltrators, he informed the high command at Srinagar but in the process was caught at Sangrama by the Pakistani intruders. In return for his safety, he was asked to raise pro-Pakistani and anti-India slogans but he refused and instead shouted ?Hindu, Muslim Ithad?. Peeved at this, he was brought back to Baramulla and tied to a pole near a local cinema, his body was nailed and 14 bullets were pumped into him. His body was left hanging for two-three days till the Indian Army came and brought it down for burial at the location of present Sherwani Memorial.
To mark the day, a peace rally was also organised in Baramulla in which more than 2000 youngsters carrying tricolours participated. The rally culminated at the Degree College.
On the occasion, Governor of J&K, Lt Gen (retd) S.K. Sinha gave away prizes to participants in the race and freedom fighters at the main function held at Sherwani Hall in the historic town. School students presented a colourful variety programme.
Speaking at the function the Governor said terrorists have killed over 20,000 civilians during the past decade and a half. ?They have scant regard for human values and do not even spare the people on festivals like Eid?, he said.
The Governor lauded the Army for protecting citizens and improving their quality of life through various civic action programmes. He said while the Army is maintaining high degree of restraint during anti-militancy operations, they guard against collateral damages.
The Governor referred to the observance of October 27 in Baramulla, which witnessed horrendous holocaust in 1947 and said this day reminds us of the great sacrifices of the people and the Army in safeguarding the valley from tribal marauders. He paid glowing tributes to Shaheed Sherwani and said his sacrifice symbolized people'sfaith in Kashmir 'sgreat values and rich traditions of amity and brotherhood. He recalled the valiant uprising of people in Srinagar against Pakistan 'sveiled action to trample Kashmir 'straditions and said the people raised one voice, challenging the tribals: ?Hamlawar hoshiyar, hum Kashmiri hain tayaar.?
A large number of prominent citizens were present at the main function while thousands witnessed the peace march. A film on Baramulla tribal raid was screened on the occasion. Corps Commander 15 Corps Lt Gen Amarjeet Singh, GOC 19 Inf Div Maj Gen Ramesh Halgaly and District Development Commissioner, Baramulla, Baseer Khan were present at the function. Earlier, on October 22, tributes were paid to those who had made supreme sacrifices while fighting the Pakistani invaders at Muzaffarabad on this day in 1947.
In this connection a bhog ceremony of akhandpath was also held for those departed souls by the Muzaffarabad Displaced Community at Gurdwara Shaheed Sant Bhai Deva Singh near Digiana. Three speakers on the occasion recalled how Pakistani invaders attacked Muzaffarabad and other areas. Regretting that successive governments have ignored the role played by the people of Muzaffarabad while fighting with Pakistani invaders, they demanded that October 22 be declared a holiday.