18-year-old Kashmir teen who refused to give up militancy despite father’s FB plea dies in Anantnag encounter
Eighteen-year-old Farhan Wani was one of the militants killed by security personnel in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Tuesday morning.
The teenager, hailing from Khudwani village in Kulgam, had joined the militant ranks in mid-2017. In November, the young militant’s father – Ghulam Mohammad Wani – put up an emotional Facebook post urging him to relinquish violence and return home. The plea, however, went in vain.
“My dear son, my body has begun betraying me ever since you left us. I scream from the pain you have inflicted upon us, but still believe that you will return home…” Ghulam had posted on Farhan’s page on November 24.
“I can’t explain how much I miss your smiling face. It’s been almost six months, but not a minute goes by without me thinking about you. I hope you are okay, I hope you are well. I am your father, and if I do not tell you this, nobody else will,” he continued. “I am sorry, but I am going to die. I am left with no other choice. You still have a lot to learn, but I will not be there to teach you, to scold you, to help you.”
Ghulam went on to write that Farhan’s mother loved him more than anybody else in the world.
“Dear son, we request you to return and start again, and we will help you in every manner possible. The path you have chosen will not lead you anywhere other than pain, stress and betrayal, and maybe a time will come when you never see us again,” he wrote.
“I request you to come back, come back… we are missing you soooooo muchhh. Your loving father,” Ghulam signed off.
Sources close to the family said Ghulam’s actions were inspired by the return of Majid Khan – an ace footballer from Anantnag who joined militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba – after a video message by his mother went viral on the social media in November last year.
The encounter killing comes at a time when the Jammu and Kashmir police are trying their best to make local militants relinquish militancy and return home. HT reported on Tuesday that the state law enforcement agency has even assured repentant militants that they need not come to the police station to surrender under the “no case-no apprehension policy”, and can “simply join their families”.
A senior Kulgam police officer confirmed to HT that Farhan was killed on Tuesday.