July 9, 2016:
“Yeh aap ki ghairat pe depend karta hai (It depends on your self-respect). Someone’s ‘Ghairat’ got challenged time and again, so he decided to answer back. Others decided to stay quiet. My son couldn’t bear to see the atrocities and the humiliation, so he was forced to choose the path which he is on right now.” These were the words of Muzafar Ahmed Wani, father of the slain commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, Burhan Wani, after being asked as to what prompted his son to pick up a gun in the prime of his youth, in an interview to an online portal, Youth Ki Aawaaz.
In 2010, Burhan and his brother Khalid, along with an another friend, were beaten up by the personnel of Special operations group of JK police in their hometown Tral, in which Khalid was knocked unconscious. While fleeing from the spot, Burhan had vowed to take ‘revenge’.
this beating’, Burhan had shouted from the distance.
Burhan Wani rose to prominence after his pictures and videos, donning automatic weapons and camouflage fatigue, emerged on social networking sites turning him into a youth icon. He was able to recruit more than 100 youth while he was the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the largest militant outfits of Kashmir.
Burhan was killed, in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag town, along with two other militants yesterday.
Local sources say there was no gunfight while the police officials maintained that the encounter began at 4:30 pm and was declared over by 7:00 pm in which all the three boys got killed, while one of the SOG personnel suffered minor injuries.
A special counterinsurgency team of Indian army was secretly ferried from Srinagar for this operation.
According to a police source, the trio was putting up at this place since last many days and most of the information about their presence was retrieved from the internet.
Soon after the news of his death spread in the evening, thousands of people came out on roads across the Kashmir valley chanting Pro-Burhan and Pro-Freedom slogans. Many couldn’t believe the news until the photographs of the dead body were posted.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah tweeted:
For all Burhan’s social media activity I don’t recall any militancy incident attributed to him while I was in office. Not sure after that.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) July 8, 2016
The protests in south Kashmir continued till late evening and protestors tried to break into many police posts across the Kashmir valley. Newly constructed Forest check post at Khanabal just adjacent to police lines in Anantnag town was torched during the night prompting police to quell the protesters by firing tear gas shells and live fire in the air.
Protests were carried out even in those places which had witnessed calm even during the 2008 and 2010 mass agitations.
In Mattan Chowk and Laizbal areas of Anantnag town, thousands of women marched towards the town centre Lal chowk after defying one of the strictest curfews in recent past. Intermittent tear gas shelling has been going on since morning.
The authorities have shut the mobile phone telephony as well as the internet services across the Kashmir Valley. Curfew has been imposed in most of the areas and main towns of Kashmir valley.
Separatists have called for three-day mourning and in the meantime thousands of mourners have reached the hometown of Burhan Wani to pay last rites.
According to sources, hundreds of mourners from Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir, travelling all through the night, managed to reach the Tral town where Burhan was laid to rest.
A group of around ten militants was seen during the funeral who participated in the final journey of Burhan.
Killing of this young militant commander is going to be a rallying point for many youths according to many analysts.
Reports of killing of ten more protesters in south Kashmir was pouring in as this report was being filed.
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