STATING THAT slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was “not a terrorist”, a ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator described him as “great and pious”. He also said Wani’s “death has given a new lease of life” to separatists.
Saying that his party has “no ill-will or grudge against the people mourning Wani’s death”, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, PDP legislator from Wani’s hometown Tral, told The Indian Express: “He was not a terrorist… People loved him because he was a great and pious character. I am from Tral and I know how much people loved and respected him. Their mourning is justified”.
Shah admitted that he has not been able to visit Tral since the July 8 encounter in which Wani was killed. “His death has given a new lease of life to the separatist ideology,” he said. “The Kashmir issue was on the backburner. But after his death, it has got a new life. Now every political party, every organisation and civil society members are calling for resolution of the Kashmir issue”.
“Burhan Wani was the product of torture and harassment inflicted upon him and his family by the previous National Conference-Congress coalition government,” he said. “We are reaping the harvest of what was sown by the NC,” he said.
“Everybody knows how NC tortured the youth, lodged them in police cells and inflicted miseries upon the common people,” he said. “The anti-youth policies pursued by NC were bound to give birth to people like Burhan Wani.”
While the two-time PDP legislator called for an end to the night raids by police and paramilitary forces to arrest protestors, he also appealed to people to “protest peacefully”.
“If people want to protest, they should remain peaceful. The attacks on police posts and army camps only lead to casualties,” he said.