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Militant killed in Anantnag was a civil engineering student with interest in art

Burhan_wani_kashmir Updated: Dec 15, 2016 00:43 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar

A paramilitary soldier stands guard near a barricade during curfew in Srinagar in July 2016, days after militant commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter. (Waseem Andrabi / HT File Photo)

A local militant was killed by government forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag died in north Kashmir’s Sopore as a gunfight raged in the Valley on Wednesday.

In a separate gunfight in Sopore, a foreign militant of the Lashkar-e-Taiba was also killed.

Police said Basit Rasool Dar, a resident of Marhama in south Kashmir, was killed in his home district Anantnag after forces cordoned its Sirgufwara area on Wednesday morning.

Anantnag superintendent of police Zubair Ahmad Khan said, “Forces offered him a chance to surrender, but he refused... He came out of the house in which he was hiding and opened fire on us. He kept shooting and running, which forced us to return the fire.”

Twenty four-year-old Dar was pursuing civil engineering from the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) when he joined militancy after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant leader Burhan Wani.

In a blog, which he wrote before joining militancy, he described himself as one who likes “painting, writing and exploring new things”. The blog and his pictures posing with civil engineering equipment have been shared widely on social media.

His last post, ‘Yes this is Kashmir’, was on June 30, 2016, three weeks after Wani’s death. The post was about an imaginary conversation of a Kashmiri with ‘humanity’. The blog touched the issues of identity, nationhood and “blood of martyred innocent youth”.

Khan said Dar joined militants roughly after a month of Wanis death. 

Read | Burhan Wani: Better living than dead?

“We talked to his father and uncle after he joined militants and told them that we don’t want his talent to go waste. They tried to convince him but were unsuccessful,” he added.

Thousands of people converged near Dar’s home to offer his funeral prayers. There were some protests and stone-pelting after the news of his death spread.