Skipping formal media and using the social networking, Hizb ul Mujahideen’s 19-year-old ‘commander’ Burhan Wani has released a video. Addressing his peers directly, Wani is seeking support for the “cause” for which, he said, they “have left their families”. The grainy video showing Burhan in battle fatigue is the first of its kind. Known for his “motivation power”, Burhan in 5.38 minute video is sitting behind an AK 47, while the Quran is placed alongside a pistol. Two young Hizb militants holding AK-47s stand his guard. He starts on a “gratitude note”, thanking the locals Kashmiris including the Sikh minorities for their support. Quoting verses and instances from the life of the Prophet (PBUH), he “invites the youths to join the group in fighting Indian oppression and be saviour of honour and dignity of the women of Kashmir”. “The police (are) demoralising us, have repeatedly misbehaved and tortured our families. They too have families,” Burhan says in the video with a smile, “but we won’t harm them [their families] as we belong to same Allah and our Sharia doesn’t allow us to do that.” “We are to protect the honour and dignity of the women, including their families: daughter, mothers and sisters.” Burhan Wani, a student and cricketer from South Kashmir’s Tral is the poster boy of Kashmir’s New Age Militancy. He left home in the fall of 2010, days before his Class 10 exam to join the Hizb. The major trigger behind joining militant ranks was the “harassment” he faced at the hands of JKP’s SOG, who stopped him while riding on a bike with his elder brother, Khalid Wani. The brothers were asked to buy cigarettes and snacks, which they did. The SOG men, however, played a “prank” with them by allegedly winking the nearby paramilitary troopers playing cards, who pounced on the Wani siblings. While Burhan managed to give them a slip, Khalid was caught and roughed up. While running away, Burhan was heard screaming: “I won’t leave you, now!” After that incident, the composed student of Tral’s Shariefabad, Burhan, changed forever. And almost five years later, he has become the new poster boy of the new militancy. The video ending with a promise of meeting again has already gone viral on social networking sites making the modus operandi of young breed of Hizb militants further clear.
2015 Kashmir Despatch