Life-size hoardings and posters of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani greeting people on Eid appeared in Tral area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir on Monday.
Wani, 21, one of the youngest and most wanted local commanders, who has a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head, greets the Muslims on the occasion. While the posters feature the young militant’s photograph, Wani extends greetings on behalf of his slain brother Khalid.
Earlier this year, Khalid was killed when he was on his way to meet Wani in a Hizbul hideout in the forests. Many say it was an assault on Khalid that drove Wani to militancy. The son of a school headmaster, he took to militancy after the security forces brutally assaulted his brother, Khalid, during the 2010 unrest. “Some policemen stopped the brothers, then teenagers, and one of them pounced on Khalid to draw sadistic pleasure from scaring the boys. The shock knocked out Khalid,” a family friend says.
Wani has been using the social media for recruitment, persuading the young Kashmiris to join the “holy war”. Of late, threat posters with the picture of Wani along with a message asking taxi drivers and owners not to rent out vehicles to security forces have appeared at several places in Pulwama district.
Wani has been using audio and video clips to tell his followers to join his cause and fight the “Indian occupation in Kashmir”.
Earlier, police had moved the court asking for a ban on the Facebook pages glorifying militants. In most cases, Wani was touted as a hero.