BURHAN’S DEATH TRIGGERED A YEAR OF DEATH, AWAKENING AND UNITY

Hamid Rather

When Kashmir valley mourned the first death anniversary of the former Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, Burhan Wani, on July 8th the people of Kashmir and Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) viewed his “martyrdom” as a harbinger of a new wave of militant political activism in Kashmir. Kashmir valley was tense ahead of the anniversary and government forces resorted to curfew-like curbs in the valley to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the Valley after Burhan Wani was killed on 8th July, 2016.

The authorities shut the Internet services and imposed curfew-like restrictions in most parts of Kashmir valley on July 8 and July 8 to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the valley after Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight on 8th July, 2016. The government had called in 21,000 additional paramilitary CRPF mem to maintain law and order in view of the shutdown call of Joint Resistance Leadership on July 8.

The Joint Resistance Leadership has also cBurhan Muzafar Wanialled for shutdown on 13th July which is known as martyrs’ Day in Kashmir to commemorate the death 22 Kashmiris who were killed during protests against the regime of Maharaja Hari Singh in Srinagar in 1931. The Joint Resistance Leadership had also urged people to visit homes of slain militant leaders on July 9.

The separatist protest call coincides with that of Hizbul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salahuddin, declared a global terrorist by the US recently on India’s insistance. Salahuddin’s reiterated that Hafta-e-Shuhuda (martyrs’ week) to be observed beginning July 7 on both sides of the line of control. Pakistan used the maiden death anniversary of Burhan Wani to raise the Kashmir issue and slam ‘Indian atrocities’ and human rights violations in the state. Pakistan PM, Nawaz Sharif said that Wani’s “martyrdom” is a “testimony of the fact that Kashmiris have completely rejected the Indian occupation.” Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Kashmiris have a right to self-determination and Wani had made a sacrifice that is “testimony” of his and his generation’s “resolve” against “Indian atrocities.”

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