Burhan Encounter: Omar Says Mehbooba Lying To Provoke BJP


Srinagar:  Reacting sharply to Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti’s claims that she was unaware of killing of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani, her predecessor and National Conference, President, Omar Abdullah Friday said he would go by the statement of Jammu and Kashmir Police that she was in know of the encounter.
The former Chief Minister in a series of tweets lashed out at Mehbooba over her ‘feigning ignorance’ on Burhan’s killing on July 8.
“At no point in the first J&K police media briefing was it ever suggested that they didn’t know who was trapped,” Omar said in his recent tweet.
“I’m going by the 1st on record statement by J&K police to the media that the CM was kept fully informed of encounter,” reads his another tweet.
Talking to reporters on July 28, Mehbooba claimed that government forces were not aware that Burhan was one among the trapped militants.
“How can one know everything about every encounter? I came to know through police and the army, who said they only knew that there were three militants inside the house. But they said they did not know who they were. What can I say now on this?” she asked.
Responding to a question, the Chief Minister said had the forces known about Burhan’s presence inside the house, there “could have been a chance” to “keep the situation from turning to what it is today.”
Mehbooba said the situation turned volatile very quickly in Kashmir and the government did not have the “luxury of time” to prepare and prevent widespread violence in the aftermath of Burhan’s killing.
“When Afzal Guru was hanged, (Omar Abdullah) knew, so he made all the arrangements. We knew nothing and we came to know suddenly. But we tried to impose curfew so that children do not come out,” she said. “I relied on the police and army versions who said there were three militants hiding in some house without giving their identification,” she said to a TV channel. “If it was known that Mr Burhan Wani was among them, we could have thought of giving him a second chance.”
But soon after the killing of Burhan, the police had said that Mehbooba was aware of the encounter.
On July 9, Additional Director General (CID), S M Sahai, at a hurriedly called press conference said that the chief minister being the home minister was informed of all the activities well in advance.
According to Omar Abdullah, on the other hand, it looks like a ‘desperate attempt by the PDP to force BJP to withdraw support so she can fix her tattered image’.
Omar said that her own party doesn’t agree to what she is saying. “One senior PDP minister called it a ‘custodial killing’ and another ‘a police plot to discredit Mufti’,” Omar another tweet read.
Senior PDP leader and Member Parliament, Muzaffar Hussain Baigh while asking for a probe into the operation, openly questioned the circumstance under which Burhan was killed. “The operation that took Burhan Wani was in contravention with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court suggesting the killing was extra-judicial,” Baigh had said in an interview with NDTV, few days after the encounter.
He said that there were different versions given by different security agencies. “The SP and SSP said there was no gunfight from the other side. The killing in that case appears prima facie suspicious,” he said. “If the statements don’t match on the ground, we have to probe why an SSP made such a statement wherein it was stated that the operation was completed in less than 4 minutes. It looks like they had come out to surrender but the firing took place from this side and the killing happened.”
The Adl DGP, Sahai, however, dismissed suggestions that Burhan was killed in custody or was not offered any chance to give in during the encounter. “Two of our men received bullet wounds in the encounter,” he had said. 
The police officer did not give details about the weapons recovered from the slain militants.
NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani on Thursday said it was ironic and ridiculous that the Chief Minister was terming Burhan Wani’s killing a “coincidence” while simultaneously having released lakhs of rupees as reward money from the CM’s secret fund for those who took part in the encounter.
He lashed out at Mehbooba for what he described her “continued theatrical tendency to lie, deflect responsibility and spread canards”.
“If Mehbooba Mufti is deluded into thinking that she can try to make a case that she wasn’t aware of the encounter where a special team was dispatched from Srinagar to neutralize Burhan Wani, she is living in her usual fool’s paradise. Sometimes she says she wasn’t informed of the encounter, and then she discloses it was a ‘coincidence’ only to simultaneously release lakhs of money from the CM’s secret fund as a reward for those who took part in the encounter. This is a cruel joke from a completely clueless CM”, the NC statement issued from party headquarters in Srinagar said on Thursday.
According to NC, “Mehbooba heads a Government that remains invisible, ineffective and unmoved by dozens of killings and mass grief in the Valley”.
Police was aware of Burhan’s presence: BJP
Contradicting Mehbooba Mufti’s stand, BJP today said security forces had the knowledge of Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s presence at the encounter site.
Terming the killing of Wani as “success”, Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Sat Sharma said identity of the militant “doesn’t matter” in such operations.
“As far as the question of the event (killing of Wani) is concerned definitely the security forces had the knowledge …they knew who was inside and they undertook their job after taking everything into consideration”, he said, adding “without information” security forces do not act.

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