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Burhan Wani ‘successor’ posts video, seeks support of Kashmiris

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Aug 18, 2016, 4:54 am IST
Updated : Aug 18, 2016, 4:54 am IST

Zakir Rashid Bhat, a former engineering student, who was a close associate of slain Hizbul’s Internet-savvy poster boy Burhan Muzaffar Wani, has posted a message on global video-sharing website YouTub

Zakir Rashid Bhat, a former engineering student, who was a close associate of slain Hizbul’s Internet-savvy poster boy Burhan Muzaffar Wani, has posted a message on global video-sharing website YouTube asking the people of Kashmir to make the ongoing stir successful. He has also urged the Valley’s youth to stay away from police recruitments.

The 8-minute video was also mailed to Srinagar newspapers on Tuesday and earlier widely circulated through mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Official sources said that the authorities are contemplating to approach the YouTube administrator with a request to scrub out the video.

Bhat, 22, who studied civil engineering in Chandigarh before joining Kashmir’s indigenous frontline militant outfit in 2013, has also said that the “martyrdom” of Wani and two others has infused a new lease of life into the ongoing separatist campaign. He says in chaste Urdu, “We all know how the martyrdom of our three brothers has brought movement to a new point. Now we need to support this struggle and take it to its logical conclusion.” Bhat is a resident of Noorpora, the village in southern Pulwama district’s Tral area which is hardly 10 kilometres from Shariefabad where Wani lived. Bhat’s father is a civil engineer working in a J&K government department.

Bhat, who is being projected by the Hizb as Wani’s successor, also asked people to maintain unity.

He also asks the Kashmiri youth to skip police recruitment, saying the recruitment of special police officers (SPOs) recently advertised by J&K police was a “plot” to create a divide among people in the Valley. “These people want to create an Ikhwan (counter-insurgency group operating in the Valley in the 1990s) and want to make Kashmiris fight with each other. Youth should stay away from such conspiracies and not take part in it (recruitment)” he says warning that whosoever takes part in it “will be himself responsible for his life”

Bhat asks people not to believe rumours and says that they should not have burnt down the house in which Wani was along with two other Hizb militants killed during a joint operation launched by J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Army’s Rashtriya Rifles in Kokernag area of southern Anantnag district on July 8. About half a dozen adjoining houses were also razed into rubble in the fire as the people involved in the act of arson believed that Wani fell victim to “mukhbiri” and blamed the house- owner who incidentally is maternal uncle of one of the two militants slain with Wani for leaking the information about his presence in the house to the security forces, the charge vehemently denied by the family.

“This is wrong. We should not take any step without any investigations. Because it (burning of the house being used by Wani and others as a hideout) leads to loss of mujahideen as people hesitate to give us shelter fearing their houses would be burnt if something untoward happens,” he says.

Bhat ridicules the authorities for calling the militants as terrorists and says in the video that they were “human beings” who left their homes and took to gun “because of the Indian tyranny.” He further says that there are some good people in India “who do realise the Kashmiris are suffering under the tyranny of India”.

Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar