Burhan Wani, Poster Boy Of Kashmir Militancy, Killed

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ANANTNAG: Burhan Muzaffar Wani, most sought after militant commanders in Kashmir,  was killed in an encounter with the government forces near Kokernag in South Kashmir, State Police Chief K Rajendra announced Friday evening.

Two of the aides of 21 year old militant commander associated with the Hizbul Mujahedin, were also killed in the operation.

The operation was a joint exercise by the anti-militancy Special Operations Group of J&K Police from Srinagar and Anantnag backed by Rashtria Rifles of the Indian army, he said.

The two of Burhan’s aides were identified as Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh of Kokernag and Masoom Ahmad Shah, a resident of Sri Gufwara.

“It was a clean operation in which we were aware of the single house in which Burhan and his team was operating from,” a senior police officer said. “The house belonged to Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, maternal uncle of Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh who lives in Kokernag.”

Police said the operation started at around 4:30 pm and was over by 7 pm. “Yes, one of our members Shamsuddin received a bullet injury in his shoulder,” the officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity said. “He is in hospital and out of danger.”

The spot of the encounter is Bamdoora, a village located on the Larkipora – Kokernag road. Police said they were accompanied by soldiers from 19-RR which is based in Kokernag.

Reports from the area said that as soon as the SOG surrounded their hideout, Sartaj retaliated by lobbing a grenade and was instantly killed. Later, there was exchange of fire for some time. Eventually the house was blasted using at least two landmines that led to the killing of militants, including Burhan.

Police said the trio was there for some time and they had worked a lot to check and cross-check the information they had received. Part of the information was flowing from the internet, they added.

Insisting that Burhan’s killing was a “major success”, police sources said they expect it to be a “limiting factor” in expansion of militancy in Kashmir.

Burhan jumped into militancy in 2010 when he was 15 and moved to the neighbouring jungles where he would invite the like-minded. He had created his own group that became an instant hit as they started communicating, in an unprecedented fashion, with the youth through social media. Their video capsules were widely circulated on the social media.

His brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani was killed on April 13, 2015 in Tral forests.

Last month, Wani released a video warning of attacks on separate colonies for Sainiks and Kashmiri Pandits if they are set up in the Valley.

Burhan had also made it clear that Amarnath Yatra was not the target of militants. The major part of the video message, however, was directed at the Jammu and Kashmir Police warning them of more attacks if they did not desist from anti movement activities. There was a Rs 10 lakh reward for information leading to Burhan’s arrest.

LeT pays Tributes To Burhan

Meanwhile, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Chief, Mehmood Shah Friday paid glowing tributes to Hizb commander, Burhan Wani, who was killed in a gunfight in Kokernag.

In a statement issued here, LeT chief spokesman, Dr. Abdullah Gaznavi quoted the LeT chief Mehmood Shah as paying tributes to Burhan and stating that “Burhan showed the way to Kashmiri nation that for winning freedom, they needed to join the field.”

Gaznavi quoted Shah as saying that Burhan had kept “Indian forces on tenterhooks and carried scathing attacks on them and was finally martyred which is a desire of every Mujahid.”

The LeT spokesman said Shah prayed to Almighty Allah to accept “Burhan’s martyrdom and grant him a place in Jannat-ul-Firdous”.

Quoting the LeT chief, Gaznavi said Burhan had been “a torchbearer in showing the path to Kashmiri nation.”

The LeT spokesman quoted Shah as saying that the fourth generation of Kashmiris was fighting for Kashmir and entire Kashmiri nation was ready to offer sacrifices and urged people to participate in Burhar’s funeral.

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