Violence and strike have continued in Kashmir Valley following the death of Hizbul Mujahedeen commander Burhan Wani. The valley witnessed 30 deaths during the protest.
On Friday evening, 8th July Kashmir erupted after the death of Burhan Wani in an encounter. Government imposed curfew in the major towns and villages of Kashmir. People came out in the street to protest the encounter and security forces fired bullets on them to scatter the mass which resulting 30 death and more than 1,000 injured. A policeman was also killed when activists pushed a police mobile bunker into the river Jehlum at Sangam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to analyze and discuss the possible ways to end the protest in the Kashmir valley. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and other officials were present in the meeting.
Minister of State Jitendra Singh said PM Modi has requested to maintain peace in the valley. “PM Modi has made an appeal to maintain peace and calm in the valley. PM has extended every possible help to the state”.
Who was Wani?
Burhan Muzaffar Wani was a commander of Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujahedeen. He fled from his home in 2010 and at the age of 15 he joined the militant group. Due to his social media popularity he became famous among the Kashmiri youths. Wani had a reward of Rs 10 lakh on him.
In 2000 Burhan and his elder brother Khalid Wani traveled on Khalid’s new bike. They were accompanied with some friends. The friends later told ‘The Greater Kashmir’, that they were intercepted on their way by a group of Indian Army personnel who ordered the teenagers to buy them cigarettes. Khalid went to buy cigarettes and returned; still the officers attacked and beat them. Khalid felt unconscious and his bike was also damaged. However, they somehow managed to escape. While fleeing, Burhan, threatened the Army officers that he is going to ‘avenge’ what they did to his brother.
His elder brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani had encountered by the Indian army in 2015 when he went to meet his brother with his three friends. The army claimed that he was the follower of militant group though they didn’t confirm or deny whether he or his friends had joined the militancy.
He and his associates were killed in Bundoora village of Kokernag on 8th July, by a joint team after being cornered by Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and 19 Rashtriya Rifles.
Why is Kasmir protesting?
Burhan Wani peacefully said his viewers in an uploaded video in you tube on 7th June this year that whoever promotes Indian Laws on Kashmir he will face ‘action’. He advised the Kashmiris to keep a close watch on the Indian police and Army. In the six minute video he repeatedly referred the Indian Army as ‘dushman’. He explained in the video that they would not want to kill the police as they are their own people but as long as they supporting Indian army and attacking the Kashmiri youth then he has left no choice. In the video he also assured that the militants won’t attack the Amarnath pilgrims. He warned that more attacks will be commenced against ‘men in uniform’ and also alerted the police to stay out of their way. According to police, Wani’s video may fell some appeal on Kashmiri youth.
Burhan Wani’s father while talking to Youth Ki Awaaz explained, “Almost everyone here has been beaten up by the Army. You also must have had your share. But everyone didn’t become a militant. It depends on how much one can take. 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”.
Thousands of Kashmiris attended Wani’s funeral. His body was wrapped in the flag of Pakistan and buried beside his brother Khalid’s.
Kashmir in Turmoil
For the fourth consecutive days the separatists groups have been continuing their protest which affected the normal life in the valley. Public transport was completely off the roads. Examinations in various institutions have postponed due to the turmoil. Amarnath Yatra is also suspended from Monday from Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp in Jammu and almost 20,000 pilgrims were left stranded. Train services are also postponed between Baramulla in Kashmir and Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountain range.
The separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik are in custody.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked the security forces to handle the situation calmly and avoid use of force for crowd control.