The death anniversary of Maqbool Butt, who was hanged in Tihar jail by the Indian army on February 11, 1984, is a small though recurring feature of a gory tale of bloodshed perpetuated to prolong and entrench India’s illegal occupation. The Indian army kills all those who stand in its way; hangs those who raise the call for freedom from its shackles and terms the freedom fighters terrorists just to draw a veil over its own state-terrorism. Mr Butt was a man of conviction not much different from rest of his fellow freedom loving compatriots; torture and all kinds of persecution could not stop him.

That has been the fate of many thousands of Kashmiris whose generations have grown even stronger in their belief that India is a big killing machine that has to be stopped. With the passage of time, Indians have been overlooking what the entire world has started to see; the Kashmiri youth that experienced at firsthand the atrocities inflicted on their families is now outside their homes — it is in the mountains and to New Delhi’s chagrin at international forums to demand their birthright to live as free humans. Mass graves and hangings have only strengthened the people’s resolve. The Kashmiris have lost much, but it is India that will end up losing much more than just a piece of territory.