Burhan Wani's death and a year of living dangerously

Amarnath pilgrims won’t be harmed: Hizbul

But warns against setting up separate colonies for Pandits and former soldiers

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, in a fresh video, on Tuesday warned of attacks on separate Sainik and Pandit colonies but assured safety to Amarnath pilgrims for their upcoming pilgrimage.

“Militants have no plan and will never attack pilgrims who arrive in Kashmir for the Amarnath Yatra. They are pilgrims and we will not attack them,” said 24-year-old Wani in a 6:17 minute video.

Wani, son of a school master who lost his brother in an Army encounter, has emerged as a poster boy of militancy in Kashmir. Security agencies admit Mr. Wani was able to motivate more than 35 youth to join militancy since last year.

In the video, Mr. Burhan, wearing a white T-shirt, has opposed any move to come up with separate colonies for Pandits and ex-soldiers in the State. “If Sainik colony or separate colonies on the Israeli- pattern for Hindus are created in Kashmir, we will target them. Pandits can come here and live in their respective places,” Burhan said in the video.

The Hizbul commander claimed his outfit was forced to “to attack local policemen for supporting the Indian occupation here”.

Expressing “gratitude to people, especially youth, for their support”, Mr. Burhan said his last video had warned the police to stay away from “anti-freedom movement activities”.

“I ask them not to harass youth and not to create naka’s and stay inside in the camps. Policemen are part of Kashmir nation. India gets pleasure every time a militant or a local policeman gets killed,” he added.

He admitted in the video that recently arrested aide Tariq Pandit was behind raid on the militant sympathisers. “These raids won’t affect the organisation.”

The commander warned the media against using the word “terrorists” for “militants”. “This land is ours. Kashmir is ours. We are not terrorists but the Army is,” he added.

Burhan joined the militant ranks in 2010 and since then has been active in the south Kashmir and believed to be behind many attacks in the Valley.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 4:29:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Amarnath-pilgrims-won%E2%80%99t-be-harmed-Hizbul/article14391861.ece

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