The Legacy Of Burhan Wani Is A Threat To Indian Occupation
Burhan Muzaffar Wani was a freedom fighter of Jammu & Kashmir and commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (2013-2016) who struggled for his nation’s right of self-determination.
He belonged to a well-educated family. His father was a principal of the secondary school and his mother a Quran tutor. Burhan Wani was a topper in his school times and obtained 90% marks in middle exams. During the 2010 unrest, Burhan escaped from his house at the age of 15 and joined Hizbul Mujahideen.
Burhan’s father, Muzaffar Wani, later told in an interview that Burhan and his brother were beaten by Indian forces and asked to purchase cigarettes for them. That and many other incidents in Kashmir influenced Wani to give a strong reply to Indian brutal activities.
Burhan used social media as a weapon to expose India and motivated Kashmiri youth to pick up arms against Indian forces. His videos started getting massive views after being aired on Indian and Pakistani channels. It was the first time when Kashmiris stood against the Indian force after the 1989-91 insurgency and fake encounters.Indian cybercrime agencies started removing Burhan Wani’s videos from the internet for promoting enmity, hate speech, and terrorism. Burhan used different accounts to upload his videos. He never used any device two times for this work. In 2013, Burhan Wani was promoted to commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. His brother Khalid Wani was arrested and tortured in custody. He was accused of recruiting fighters in Burhan Wani’s group. Khalid lost his life in custody. Police claimed that he was encountered in the cross-firing but his family argued that there was no bullet wound on his body.
Despite his brother’s murder, Burhan welcomed Kashmiri Pundits and Hindu pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra. In his last video, he assured safety for pilgrims, welcomed Kashmiri pandits, and warned Indian police to stop brutal activities.He was declared “Terrorist” by the Indian government who imposed a bounty of one Million rupees on his head. He was assassinated in Kokernag, Indian Occupied Kashmir by IOJ&K police and Indian army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles. His assassination resulted in 2016 Unrest which lasted for 53 days. More than 200,000 people gathered at his funeral. His body was wrapped in the Pakistani flag and buried in native village.Not even a single incident was proved to be backed by Burhan Wani. He was a youth leader who inspired his nation and taught them how to fight for their rights, and self-determination. Indian government and police still fear the 22-year-old popular rebel who has become a symbol of freedom among Kashmir’s youth. The authorities beefed up security and shut down mobile phone and internet services after calls for protests on his death anniversary in 2017 and 2018.
Later on, after revoking Article 370, the BJP government imposed a curfew and communications clampdown on 5 August 2019 to preemptively curb unrest. The forces have killed over 200 Kashmiris and arrested thousands. The lockdown is still in place with partial relaxation after international attention on violation of human rights by Indian authorities.India is providing only 2G internet in Kashmir because it fears that the internet may produce another Burhan, while its atrocities in occupied valley will be exposed to outside world, which India fears the most. There are many other things about Burhan Wani which I have detailed in my book, “Burhan Muzaffar Wani”.
It is worth noting, later it was confirmed that Burhan’s brother (Khalid) was killed in retaliation for Burhan’s separatist movement. Chief Minister IOJ&K Mehbooba Mufti announced a compensation of 4 lac rupees to Wani’s family. This decision was opposed in Parliament by the BJP. However, Wani’s family refused to take compensation.