Jammu and Kashmir News
A new breed of militants that is mainly operating in Kashmir’s southern districts, is being led by a young commander- Burhan Muzafar Wani- who had picked arms five years ago as a teenager.
Wani is a resident of Tral town in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and is son of a school principal. He has emerged as the face of Kashmir’s new militant generation whose audacity has alarmed the security apparatus.
According to Police sources, 21 year old Wani is the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in South Kashmir’s four districts where the number of militants in the recent months has increased from 35 to 80.
The militants under Wani’s command include Ishaq Ahmad Parray and Zakir Rashid. Both of them were meritorious teenagers- Ishaq Ahmad scored 98.4 percent marks in class 10th exam, securing ninth position in the Kashmir zone and Zakir Rashid was an engineering student who left his studies midway in 2013 to join militant ranks.
It was confirmed by the Police that 100 youths had joined militant ranks in the past 18 months and the number is on constant rise. In the previous years, the count had shrunk at an increasing rate but the number has doubled this year.
As many as 150 militants, most of them locals, are currently operating in the region with 80 of them radically active in South Kashmir districts. Over the past one decade, militancy had waned over as security forces launched crackdowns against ultras and strengthened the intelligence and counter infiltration grid. In 2013, the figures related to militancy decreased sharply from 3860 incidents in 2012 to 170 incidents as stated by the date compiled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, South Kashmir has been serving as the new focal point of militants since mid 2012. Militants in the region operating under Wani’s command have been audacious in their attempts as they keep posting frequent pictures on Social media. Wani took to arms in October 2010 at the age of 16 when he was a class tenth student. Since October 2010, Wani has survived at least three encounters with security forces. Wani’s elder brother Khalid was killed this year in one of the encounters. Over the past two years, Wani’s pictures have surfaced regularly on websites after he was mistaken to have been killed in Tral ambush, in which four soldiers and a militant had died. The most recent picture on social networking sites shows Wani with a group of 10 militants, most of whom are new recruits.