Freedom is precious and desirable for all living beings smaller or bigger and every cost can be paid to attain freedom. When some tyrant snatches this worthwhile gift of Almighty, one readily becomes eager to take it back.
Kashmiris had been victimized of brutal cruelties and injustice of Indian occupied forces for last 72 years. Despite of ever increasing bloodthirstiness and savagery of Indian forces the freedom spirit of Kashmiris is unbeatable. Kashmiris are offering sacrifice for the great cause of freedom. The valour and courage of Kashmiris is commendable by which they are marking the milestones to their way to freedom. The oppressed people of Kashmir are made to get their freedom on the cost of their souls and old and youth of Kashmir are shedding their blood for it.
Burhan Muzaffar Wani was one of the commander of Kashmiri freedom movement group Hizbul Mujahideen. He gained much popularity through his social media presence, which modernised the image of the freedom movement in Kashmir, and made it more relatable to Kashmiri youth. He was martyred by Indian security forces on 8 July 2016.
His martyrdom resulted sparking protests across Kashmir. To continue its oppression Indian forces killed more than 96 people and injured over 15,000 civilians. The unrest following his death was described as the worst in the region since 2010, with Kashmir being placed under 53 consecutive days of curfew, which was only completely lifted on 31 August 2016.
Burhan left his home on 16 October 2010 and became a freedom fighter at the age of 15. He had reportedly decided to join the freedom fight due to an incident in which security personnel beat him up, along with his brother Khalid, according to his father and his friend who claimed to have been accompanying him when the incident occurred. He joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 2011, and was much popular on social media. In fact he can be declared as the first person who showed the cruel face of Indian army to the whole world through social media.
A large crowd attended his funeral on 9 July. The crowd was estimated to number 200,000 and was described as the largest ever gathering by reporters. It vindicated his dedication to his objective and the love of people for him. The last rite prayers were also performed in absentia in all major towns of Kashmir. His body wrapped in the flag of Pakistan was buried next to that of his brother Khalid in Tral. Many freedom fighters were also present at his funeral and offered him a three-volley salute.
After the news of his martyrdom spread, violent protests erupted in some areas of Kashmir Valley. Freedom leaders called for shutdown in Kashmir which was repeatedly extended before being called off in February 2017.
Peoples Democratic Party leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig alleged that the standard operating procedure had not been followed during the encounter involving Burhan and his accomplices. Baig demanded that a commission be appointed to investigate Wani’s killing. Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh rebuffed the demand stating that it was an anti-terrorist operation and there was no need for an inquiry. This reveals the cruel face of Indian officials and their concern for Kashmiris.
Muslims have firm belief that a person martyred in the path of freedom is alive and his sacrifice bears fruit. A day after his death, former Chief Minister of state Omar Abdullah said that his killing had made him the new icon of the disaffected section of the Kashmiri society and further warned that more Kashmiris will join the freedom fight after his death as compared to when he was alive. On 12 July, Pakistan’s Prime Minister at that time Nawaz Sharif in a statement expressed “shock” over the killing of Burhan Wani which was criticized by the Indian government. Sharif called Wani a “martyr” on 15 July. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs in response criticized Pakistan for “glorifying” terrorists belonging to proscribed terrorist organisations. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the media alleging it was portraying the slain Wani as a “hero”.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi during meeting with UN officials raised the killing of Wani describing it as an “assassination of a Kashmiri youth leader”. During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 September, Sharif described Burhan Wani as a “young leader” who had emerged as a symbol of the latest “Kashmiri Intifada”.
In July 2017, Pakistani newspaper Pakistan Today praised Wani and compared his death to the death of Che Guevara, citing “History repeats itself”.
On the Independence Day of Pakistan in August 2017, Wani was featured on a special train named Azadi Train which was organised by Pakistan Railways in the memory of country’s national heroes.
The truth cannot be concealed and the people will no longer be deprived of the right of freedom. The bright sun rays of freedom will sparkle out of dark clouds of oppressed occupation.
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