How Kashmir's separatists used Burhan Wani to stay relevant

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Srinagar, Aug 10: There is a large majority in Jammu and Kashmir today which says had Burhan Wani-the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist been caught alive, they would have personally burnt him. The growing resentment towards this person who was dubbed as the poster boy is due to a host of reasons with many believing that he was a mole.

There are also a considerable number of people who today feel that he was never a real Mujahid and only propagated the ideology on social media. Questions about why he was never stopped are also being raised.

Separatists used Wani to stay relevant?

If this is the reaction now, then one is forced to wonder how did his death snow ball into such a major issue.

The separatists, Syed Geelani in particular was clearly jealous of him. Both Geelani and Yasin Malik who actually do not see eye to eye wondered how this boy in his 20s had become the face of Kashmir and attained a status that they were not able to in the past several decades.

Being relevant in the Valley

Geelani and Yasin Malik were becoming irrelevant in the state. Moreover Malik's perception was that Geelani was getting closer to the establishment in Jammu and Kashmir. Both Geelani and Malik never made any statement regarding Wani when he was alive.

However, after his death, Malik ensured that he fanned passions and urged his men to take to the streets. Geelani did not react to Wani's death on the first day. His statement in support of Wani came in two days after his death.

To add fuel to the fire, there was a statement from Pakistan also condemning Wani's death. This led to Geelani quickly changing sides and with Malik he went on to form the Joint Resistance Group.

In this context one must also look at the statement issued by Mushtaq Ahmed Shah, a PDP legislator. While terming Wani as a pious man, he goes on to say that his death has given a new lease of life to the separatists and their ideology.

Who is protesting Wani's death?

Many in Jammu and Kashmir have cast aspersions about Burhan Wani. People say that he was never involved in any operation physically and all he did was propagate on the social media. Also there is growing resentment that he had indoctrinated several youth through his Facebook posts.

A majority are also unhappy that in death there was mindless violence which has led to militants parading on the streets. Militants in both the Valley and from Pakistan have made Wani the face of the Kashmir issue.

One source informed that militants in the South of Kashmir are seen approaching homes and telling people to keep the Wani issue alive. This is a dangerous trend which one had witnessed on a large scale during the 1990s.

On the other hand the separatists who had lost relevance want to keep this issue alive. Officials say that the people of Kashmir took to the streets only for a day after Wani's death.

However, there was realisation that a big deal was being made out of him. It was these separatists who control hardly 10 per cent of the population who through their paid stone pelters continue to keep the issue on the boil.

OneIndia News

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