Burhan Wani – an icon of Kashmir’s freedom fight

Published: July 8, 2017
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Burhan Father at the grave of his two sons

Burhan Father at the grave of his two sons

Burhan Father at the grave of his two sons

MUZAFFARABAD: Nobody knew in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) that a 22-year-old boy will change the narrative of guerrilla warfare by mounting a challenge to the massive Indian security grid. That, too, without concealing his identity.

He appeared with his real name. Showed his presence in combat uniform from dense forests and lush green orchards in the south of IOK and ruled over the hearts of the young generation of Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC).

The boy was born in September 19, 1994 at Dadsara village of Tral area of Pulwama in an upper middle-class family of Muzaffar Wani who named him Burhan. Both his father and mother are teachers at government schools in Tral. Burhan is survived by two young brothers and a sister.

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Burhan joined the armed struggle in October 16, 2010 to avenge the humiliation when he was severely beaten by Indian troops along with his brother Khalid Muzaffar Wani, who was later killed by the Indian army in custody on April 13, 2015 for meeting Burhan in Tral forest.

Since 2011, Burhan was popular on social media as a commander of the largest indigenous Kashmiri freedom fighters orgnaisaiton — Hizbul Mujahideen.

Burhan used the latest technology and the internet to promote Kashmiri cause on social media that sent shock waves across top ranks of the Indian army in New Delhi and gave sleepless nights to the New Delhi’s security establishment for more than six years.

Burhan had his own schedule of armed life. He and his colleagues used to sleep in the day and moved from one area to another at night to change their location in south Kashmir.

The pictures of their movement in forests and orchards made Burhan and his whole group famous among Kashmir’s young generation. He broke more than 20 Indian army crackdowns with the help of local people who came to rescue him while pelting security forces with stones during siege and search operations that showed the popularity and love of the people for Burhan in IOK.

Burhan was a smart Kashmiri freedom fighter with political guts and was completely following the line of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to promote Kashmiris struggle.

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On the issue of separate colonies for Kashmiri Pundits, who migrated from IOK to India during the 1990s on the instructions of the then Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan, Burhan issued video messages on different occasions and discouraged separate residential colonies, saying Kashmiri Pundits were part and parcel of Kashmiri culture and wherever they wanted to live they could live, showing Burhan’s mature political approach on the issue.

A soft-spoken Burhan having European features with a dashing look became the real face of Kashmiri freedom fighters since 2011 to 2016 on social media. It was only Burhan who gathered all militants in Kashmir to fight under an umbrella against illegal Indian rule in IOK.

He never used a laptop and cellphone twice for sharing and uploading images, posters and videos during his six years in armed struggle. Burhan was a good cricketer and big fan of Pakistan’s star cricketer Shahid Khan Afridi.

To arrest Burhan, the Indian army had announced one million Indian  rupees bounty. It was the martyrdom of Ishfaq Majeed Wani in March in the 1990s that shook the entire IOK and after 27 years Burhan’s martyrdom gave a new life to the freedom struggle.

The Indian army along with other security agencies martyred Burhan Wani and his two colleagues — Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh and Pervaiz Ahmad Lashkari — at Bumdoora village in Kokernag area on July 8, 2016.

More than one million people gathered at Eidgah Tral and offered 40 funerals of Burhan. He was laid to rest close to the grave of his elder brother Khalid Muzafar Wani.

Following the martyrdom of Burhan, the entire IOK was embroiled in violence beginning July 8, 2016 to February 2017. During the longest shutdown and curfew in the history of IOK to mourn the martyrdom of Burhan, clashes erupted between Indian forces and protesters in which nearly 100 people were killed, 15,000 injured and hundreds were made blind by pellet guns.

The martyrdom of Burhan by the Indian army was also highlighted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who termed him the icon of Kashmir’s young generation for the struggle of right to self-determination at the UN General Assembly session on September 2016.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • wb
    Jul 8, 2017 - 10:45AM

    An Islamist terrorist who wanted to establish a Caliphate and eliminate all others is a Hero to Muslims! But then, why should it surprise anyone? From DAY 1 heroes of Muslims were haters, terrorists, murderers and rapers. And in some cases, all of these traits in one man.Recommend

  • Fayyaz Abbasi
    Jul 8, 2017 - 11:36AM

    Lovely story.Recommend

  • Fatimah
    Jul 8, 2017 - 6:26PM

    @wb:
    Typical RSS Indian response, continue this act and you may have minorities in india rioting to unprecented level. Burhan Wani was a man who fought for the right of self determination which you have denied for the last 70 years. Kashmir has more presecene of army soldiers in an area, then afghanistan. Truly you call yourself a secular nation yet they live under a military regime that slaughters them daily. From before and after partition hindus continue to show their true self murderers of muslim becuase they choose to have their own state and independance and reject akhand baharat. The RSS hindu is the biggest terrorist of them all that shot their own father of the nation gandhi for being sympathetic towards muslims. Rape is the speciality of a hindu rss terrorists after all mukhti bani was that by product of RSS. Recommend

  • silver
    Jul 9, 2017 - 1:26AM

    If he is a terrorist, Chandra shehkar azad was also a terrorist looting and pillaging innocent people. Recommend

  • Rubab javed
    Jul 10, 2017 - 12:54AM

    Islam is a guiding religion which has guidness for every aspect of life. You can not just sttaple any-one’s bad deeds with islam and follow all the evil(Islam) propoganda going on from years. Islam dose not support terrorism. Everyone have the right to live with freedom where ever they want to live.Recommend

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