Civil society remembers Robert Thorpe in IOK

Srinagar, November 23, 2015 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, members of civil society have paid glowing tributes to Robert Thorpe on his 147th death anniversary, who voiced against Maharaja’s tyrannical rule in Kashmir. A delegation of civil society members, led by Dr Altaf Hussain, visited Thorpe’s grave situated at Sheikh Bagh near Mallinson School in Srinagar and remembered his services for the oppressed Kashmiris.

Speaking on the occasion, the members highlighted the contribution of the unsung hero and pledged to rededicate their lives for the cause of Kashmir for which Thorpe gave his life. Dr Altaf stressed the need to inform people, particularly the young generation, about Thorpe’s contribution. Senior journalist, Zaheer-ud-Din said Thorpe sacrificed his life for the better future of Kashmiris. “He was among the first martyrs of Kashmir as he raised his voice against Maharaja’s tyrannical rule in Kashmir,” he said.

“We will decide a day to remember Robert Thorpe’s contribution. A committee will be formed in this regard to decide the future strategy,” said Khurram Parvez. The other members included Zareef Ahmad Zareef, Abdul Majid Zargar, Parvez Imroz, Mohammad Ahsan Untoo and Showkat Ahmad. Thorpe’s mother, Jana was a Kashmiri and lived with her family at Sugen Yarinar in Budgam district. Thorpe was shocked to see the miserable plight of the people in his mother’s birthplace.

He raised his voice at the time when there was total sanction on information reaching the government of India. Thorpe took it on himself to inform and educate the British people about the situation in Kashmir by writing to the British Press without caring for consequences. Thorpe felt the British were responsible for the plight of Kashmiris, as it was they who had sold it to the Maharaja under the “Treaty of Amritsar.”

Thorpe pleaded that British government had committed a wanton outrage and injustice by handing over Kashmir to the unjust Maharaja. However, trouble came upon Thorpe and he was ordered to leave Kashmir. Undeterred, Thorpe returned to Srinagar on November 21, 1868, and next morning after his breakfast he died, possibly because of poisoning. Thorpe was found dead on the Suleiman Taing hill.

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