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Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was eliminated in a joint operation on Friday in Anantnag, Jammu & Kashmir.
The 21-year-old reportedly joined the militant outfit in 2010 to avenge the alleged assault on him and his brother by the Army. He has been in the news for releasing videos, warning of attacks in J&K. Burhan, who was known as the poster boy for the Hizbul, carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.
Sources said J&K police had been tracking the movements of Burhan for the last two months and were waiting for the bypoll in Anantnag, where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was contesting, to end before moving in.
”The decision to bump off Burhan had already been taken. There was a view within the establishment against killing him. That wasn’t heeded. I have no doubt that his killing will create a lot of rage among youngsters and substantially increase local militant recruitments than if he was arrested,” said the officer.
Burhan was the first local militant, after 1990, to become known in almost every Kashmiri household by his name, primarily because people could relate to him and his story. Burhan is also from a highly educated family. His father Muzaffar Ahmad Wani, who teaches mathematics, is the principal of a higher secondary school while his mother Maimoona Muzaffar is a postgraduate.
This new local militancy has been directly linked to the way the government is seen to have crushed the mass agitations in the summers of 2008 and 2010, when scores of protesters were killed. Burhan became the poster boy of the rage that followed.
Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani killed in encounter, Thank U & Congratulations J&K Police. pic.twitter.com/zJP99iivjG
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) July 8, 2016
The significance of Burhan Wani ‘s elimination can’t be measured by his field ops alone. He was ‘shaping adolescent’ minds towards terror.
— Anshuman Rawat (@anshuman_rawat) July 8, 2016
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) July 8, 2016
Sympathisers of Burhan Wani asking any wreath laying ceremony being organised to pay last respect to their debonair militant commander.
— mohit kandhari (@mkandharii) July 8, 2016
Terrorist Burhan Wani has been shot dead.
Great news from South Kashmir in a tough time.
— Gokul (@arungokulvs) July 8, 2016
— Sushil Pandit (@neelakantha) July 8, 2016
Burhan Wani who was single handedly credited for reviving terrorism in valley and making terrorism appealing to young people is dead
— Sunanda Vashisht (@sunandavashisht) July 8, 2016
For first time in ten years in 2015 Local militants had outnumbered foreign terrorists in kashmir valley. Burhan Wani elimination BIG NEWS
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 8, 2016