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No threat to Amarnath, say Kashmir militants

Published : Jun 9, 2016, 2:02 am IST
Updated : Jun 9, 2016, 2:02 am IST

Kashmiri militants have no plan or intention to target upcoming Amarnath yatra, but would definitely continue to attack local policemen as they are seen by them as “collaborators” in Indian “occupatio

Kashmiri militants have no plan or intention to target upcoming Amarnath yatra, but would definitely continue to attack local policemen as they are seen by them as “collaborators” in Indian “occupation”.

The assurance not to disrupt the 48-day annual pilgrimage to the 12,729-feet-high revered Hindu cave shrine in Kashmir Himalayas, which is scheduled to commence on July 2, and the threat to continue to target Jammu and Kashmir police personnel have come from Burhan Wani, the Internet savvy poster boy of Kashmir’s frontline indigenous militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahedin. Wani is a resident of south Kashmir’s Tral area who left his home in 2010 to join the Hizb, days before he was to appear in his Class 10 examination. He has, in a latest video released through social networking sites, including Facebook, said that the Hizb has no option, but to target the policemen as they are supporting the “Indian occupation” of the state.

Wani, who is one of the most wanted militant commanders active in south Kashmir and who often takes to social networking sites to make statements and also post photographers of militants in combat dresses and carrying automatic weapons, has in the six minute 17 second video also said that he and his comrades in the Hizb are grateful to the people of Kashmir particularly the youth for showing their outright support to what he calls is their freedom struggle.

Unlike in many videos and photographs placed on Facebook in the past, Wani is wearing a white T-Shirt and is sitting in a chair against white back ground instead of being in combat dress and holding a weapon. He says, “In our last video we had warned police and asked them to stay away from anti freedom movement activities but they didn’t give any heed. Policemen are forcing us to attack them and we will not forewarn them anymore. I ask them not to harass youth, not to create Nakas (makeshift road check-points) and stay inside in the camps or they will be targeted by our boys.”

Pertinent to mention here that half a dozen policemen were killed and injured in sneak attacks by militants in summer capital Srinagar and southern Anantnag in past two weeks. The Hizb claimed responsibility for these attacks and threatened to carry out more in future.

On Wednesday, Wani chose to remind the J&K police men of being part of ‘Kashmiri nation’. But he regretted that they fail to comprehend the Indian policy and behaviour which was ‘they derive pleasure out of a Kashmiri whether a militant or a local policeman being killed’.

Reacting to a recent statement by a Border Security Force (BSF) officer that the militants have planned to attack the Amarnath yatra, Wani says in the video that they have no such intention. He assures that militants will never target the people who turn up to pay obeisance at for the Amarnath cave-shrine. “They are pilgrims and we will not attack them,” he says.

But the Hizb commander has threatened to target the clusters for Kashmiri Pandits and separate residential area –Sainik Colony-for serving and former soldiers and officer of the Army if and when these are set up in the Valley. Though Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has on the floor of the State Assembly said that the government has no plan to allot land in Srinagar for setting up a Sainik Colony, it is committed to bring the displaced Kashmiri Pandit back to the Valley. She also said that the Pandits would be provided residential accommodation at “transit colonies” which will have people from other faiths as residents as well.

The Hizb commander says “If Sainik Colony or separate colonies on Israel pattern for Hindus are created in Kashmir we will target them”. He, however, also says “Pandits can come here and live in their respective places.” He also cautions media saying it should desist from calling militants as terrorists. “We are not terrorists. This land is ours. Kashmir is ours. We are not terrorists but it is the Army that are terrorists.”

Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar