My Son Achieved What He Wanted, Says Father

SRINAGAR — Stating that his son’s killing marked an “end to ten months of persecution at the hands of government forces” for the family, Manan Wani’s father on Thursday said that PhD scholar achieved what he wanted to.   

 “I would have never asked him to surrender. He had chosen his path. And my son has achieved what he wanted to,” Wani’s father Bashir Ahmad told Global News Service at his house, hours after he shouldered coffin of his son.

Wani, a top Hizb commander died in an encounter with government forces in Shatgund village of Handwara on Thursday. His associate Ashiq of Tulwari Langate was also killed in the gunfight.

Manan was born in Wani Mohalla of the picturesque Lolab valley known for lush meadows. His father Bashir Ahmad is a lecturer at the government higher secondary school Sogam, while mother Shameema is a house wife. His elder sister is married while younger brother Mubashir is an engineer.

In January this year, Wani’s picture with a under barrel grenade launcher took social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter by storm. Wani was pursuing his PhD in applied geology at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) before he was seen in pictures holding the gun.

A visibly shaken Ahmad, who could barely talk, said that his son’s “martyrdom” has brought an end to persecution at the hands of the government forces. He said he was off and on picked up by police and army after Wani joined the militant ranks.

 “On one Friday, I was picked up by police when I was offering Sunnah prayers. I requested them to let me offer congregational Friday prayers but they took me along saying I can offer prayers at the police station,” he said.

Police and army, Ahmad said would only question him why his son left studies and took arms.

 “I made every effort to reason with them. I would tell them that my son has made public announcement on social media about his decision. Even then, they would harass me,” he said, adding “My son was a locally trained militant. If police were sincere, they could have saved my son instead of killing him. Why are crocodile tears being shed on a scholar’s martyrdom?” (GNS)

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