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Kashmir militants pay tribute to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani

Hizbul leaders Zakir Musa and Yasin Yatoo hailed Wani and spoke of bringing the “Islamic Caliphate in Kashmir”.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 00:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Burhan Wani,Hizbul Mujahideen,Kashmir Valley
A security personnel stands guard in Srinagar on Thursday, as authorities beefed up security in the Kashmir Valley ahead of the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.(PTI)

The divide among the militants in the Kashmir Valley laid bare on Thursday — two days before the first death anniversary of the outfit’s commander Burhan Wani.

The 22-year-old was killed in a gunbattle with the Jammu and Kashmir police last year.

In an audio message released on social media, Zakir Musa, the leader of the breakaway faction, hailed “martyr Burhan” as the one responsible for his own “understanding of Shariah”, and spoke of bringing the “Islamic Caliphate in Kashmir” — for the “establishment” of which, he claimed, Burhan gave his life.

“He was never a follower of tanzeem (group), and always wanted the superiority of Islam. He once again taught the chapter of Jihad to Kashmiri Muslims,” Musa said in his message.

Another five-minute video showed Hizbul’s new operational commander, Yasin Yatoo, for whom “the Kashmir struggle”, which although “takes guidance from Islam”, has “strong legal, geographical, international and diplomatic aspects, which is why militant policies are framed based on these...”.

Without naming Musa, Yatoo, who could be heard paying tributes to Burhan for “his bravery and spirit of following the Ameer (the leader)”, said the defector was “playing at the hands of external forces”.

The open display of rift comes as the Jammu and Kashmir police was joined by 214 companies of central paramilitary forces — comprising more than 21,000 personnel — for the Amarnath Yatra and “any situation which may arise” on July 8.

The state police has also issued directives to internet service providers in the Valley to block access to social media sites or shut down their services from Thursday night.

The authorities in Kashmir are on the edge as separatists have called for a shutdown on Saturday, which marks the first anniversary of Wani’s death that triggered months of unrest between civilians and security forces.

First Published: Jul 07, 2017 00:10 IST