ARMED militants took part in at least three public rallies and protests in south Kashmir over the last week to protest the killing of Burhan Wani, with some of them even addressing the gathering, sources told The Indian Express.
In one instance, sources said, Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, Abu Dujana, wearing a mask, attended a protest gathering on August 1 at a “martyrs’ cemetery” in Karimabad, Pulwama. Dujana is considered by security agencies to be the mastermind behind several attacks, such as the one on a CRPF convoy at Pampore and another at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in the Sempora area this year.
The latest development has prompted Hizbul Mujahideen chief and chairman of the United Jihad Council (UJC), Syed Salahuddin, to call upon militants to stop participating in such rallies and focus on targeting security installations instead.
Salahuddin’s call was issued in the form of a UJC statement and comes after militants were seen addressing rallies in Kaimoh and Bijbehara, sources said.
Sources said that on August 3, three unidentified militants, with their faces covered, appeared during a rally at Arwani in Anantnag district’s Bijbehara, where they exhorted the gathering to “follow and obey” the programme advocated by separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
Sources said that one of the militants addressed the rally and warned that those who did not follow the “programme and calls given by separatist leadership will be considered as enemies”. The militant also accused J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of having been “involved in the killing of people”. After the rally, the militants left the site amid pro-militancy slogans.
On August 2, two unidentified militants surfaced at a rally in the Koimoh area of Kulgam district. They warned the gathering not to inform police and other security agencies about the whereabouts of militants, said sources.
Rajnath reviews Jammu and Kashmir situation
Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday chaired a meeting to review the current situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and NSA Ajit Doval also attended the meeting. Asked about reports of Abu Dujana, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist being seen at a protest rally in Kashmir last week, a top security official said, “It is an old phenomenon in which terrorists from Pakistan are seen attending protests in Kashmir.”