Jammu & Kashmir: Indian intelligence community was taken by surprise to see Shi’ite Muslims raising pro-Burhan Wani slogans and banners during a Muharram procession in Kashmir Valley of India-administered Kashmir. Burhan Wani Wani was a young Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant who was killed by Indian forces in South Kashmir on 8th July 2016. A vast portion of Kashmiri Muslims however see Burhan Wani as a rebel, a freedom fighter.
A senior police officer in Srinagar, requesting anonymity, told The Wire that that the department was in possession of multiples videos and photographs showing mourners either raising banners and posters of Wani or praising his “martyrdom”.
The officer said five areas in Srinagar and Budgam districts have been identified where Wani was commemorated, including Chowdhary Bagh, Naid Yar, Rainawari and Chinkara Mohalla Habbakadal. At least another dozen videos, most of which are on social media, show mourners raising pro-Pakistan, pro-azaadi and pro-Wani slogans
The officer told The Wire that not only is the development significant, but has also taken the intelligence community in the Valley by surprise. “As of now, there is no official enquiry into organisations or individuals responsible for putting up the posters and banners (of Wani). We have received multiple photographs and videos taken during the processions that include banners and posters of Wani and in some, individuals are speaking to crowds about Wani’s struggle against security forces,” said the officer.
“We shouldn’t generalise an entire community based on acts which could have been perpetrated by a few individuals. But what is disturbing is the fact that there wasn’t any protest over the presence of Wani’s posters or the speeches that were made in his favour,” the officer added.
Another senior government functionary also acknowledged that the top rung of the establishment in Kashmir has taken note of the development.