Srinagar, Apr 27: Making martyrs out of militants is the mantra in Kashmir today. While in the recent past one has witnessed gun salutes and grand funerals being accorded to militants gunned down by the Indian army, now there are cricket teams that have cropped up named after militants.
A tournament that was conducted in Tral had three cricket teams named after militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen. The Burhan Lions has been named after Muzzafar Wani the brother of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The Khalid Aryans has been named after another militant Khalid killed by the army in Pulwama. The Abid Khan Qalandars is named after Abid Khan a Hizbul Mujahideen commander killed in 2014.
The Indian Army is probably facing its worst nightmare in Kashmir today. There have been reports a few months back of the locals attacking the army personnel with stones while they were in the midst of an operation.
To make matters worse some persons visited the spot on bikes and accorded a gun salute to the slain militants. The funeral that followed comprised massive crowds chanting slogans against the army.
There has been a clear agenda on part of the separatists and the Hizbul Mujahideen to take the fight to a different level today. This cricket match that was held in Tral is another sign of the defiance and an attempt to make martyrs out of the militants.
To name the teams after the slain militants appears to be an idea either floated by Burhan or inspired by his love for cricket. He is a cricket enthusiast in his 20s. He had left his home and joined the ranks of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
He propelled to fame when he defiantly posed in military clothes and guns. His posts on his social networking site had gone viral and today he is the face of the Hizbul Mujahideen.