11 things you need to know about ‘baba-e-quoom’ Maqbool Bhat

1. Mohammad Maqbool Bhat was born on 18th of February 1938 in Trehgam village of district Kupwara.
2. Maqbool Bhat studied  BA in History and Political Science from Kashmir University and MA Urdu Literature, from Pakistan’s Peshawar University, he worked as a teacher and also a local journalist.
3. Maqbool Bhat was a separatist leader and co-founder of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), his three brothers were killed during the armed insurgency which began in the region five years after Maqbool Bhat was sent to gallows.

4. Maqbool Bhat migrated to Pakistan in 1958 for the first time, where he, after passing MA in Urdu, began to coordinate the resistance movement aimed to free Kashmir from Indian occupation.
5. After the Indra-Sheikh accord in 1975, Plebiscite Front activists and other resistance leaders were put behind bars but Maqbool Bhat continued to struggle and formed National Liberation Front which was later named as Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.

6. Maqbool Bhat along with Aurangzeb Gilgati Kalay and Amanullah Khan entered Kashmir in June 1966. He was arrested in an encounter and his colleague Aurangzeb died. Maqbool was sentenced to death on Aug 17, 1968.
7. Maqbool Bhat cleverly managed to escape from Central Jail in Srinagar on December 9, 1968. Maqbool Bhat, along with two allies, managed to dig a tunnel under the Srinagar prison, and fled to Pakistan, where they were briefly arrested and in May 1976 Maqbool Bhat re-entered Kashmir and was thereafter arrested in Langate on June 7, 1976.
8. Maqbool Bhat spent eight years in solitary confinement in Tihar Jail in New Delhi and was sent to gallows on February 11, 1984.

9. Maqbool Bhatt during his political struggle was imprisoned and tortured several times as a ‘Pakistan agent’ by the Indian government and as an ‘Indian agent’ by the Pakistan rulers.
10. During the trial, Maqbool Bhat stood up and told the Indian court: ‘I have no problem in accepting the charges framed against me,  except with one correction. I am not the agent of your enemy. Have a good look at me and recognize me well, I am the enemy of your illegal rule in Kashmir.”
11. Maqbool Bhat’s famous quote which is still relevant reads: ‘If Indian authorities of occupation think that by hanging me, they can crush the Kashmir struggle. They are mistaken. The struggle actually will start after my hanging.’

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