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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Top commander says militants have no plan to target Amarnath yatra

Warns attacks on Sainik colonies, Pandit camps, 'anti-Kashmiri' Police officials; asks people to fail Army operations with stone pelting 

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, June 7: Hizbul Mujahideen's top operational commander in Kashmir valley, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, has claimed in a video released by his organisation on Tuesday that the militants fighting the security forces and Police had "absolutely no plans" to target the annual Amarnath pilgrimage being conducted in the months of July and August every year.

"Some BSF officer has, of late, said that the militants were planning to target Amarnath yatra. Let it be clear to all that the militants have absolutely no such plan. Devout Hindus do come here every year to perform their religious rituals and practices. We have got nothing to do with it", Burhan says in Urdu while addressing the Kashmiris in the video of about six minutes of duration shot with a cellphone camera at one of his hideouts. He has two telescopic guns in the background on either side.

Alone in the frame, facing the camera and sporting a modestly trimmed beard, 25-year-old Burhan Wani of Tral, who has grown as an icon for the youths in South Kashmir in 2015-16, however, warns attacks on the proposed Sainik colonies, transit camps of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits besides security forces and Police.

"If the proposed Sainik colonies come up, we will definitely attack them because this is our land and we will not allow any military constructions on it. As regards the Pandits, we have no objection if they return and live in their own villages and houses. But these Israeli-type settlements would not be acceptable. We will strike on them", Burhan adds.

In the beginning of his unusual statement, Burhan calls Jammu and Kashmir Police as "our brothers" but complains that India had pitted the militants and the State Police against each other. "This is all an Indian machination that our own Police brothers are dying at our hands. But unfortunately these people don't understand. They don't budge an inch. They, in fact, continue their actions against the militants and their own people. We will strike on them in retaliation", Burhan says.

"In last year's video, we had warned the Police against striking on the militants and harassing the Kashmiri youths. But now, we won't issue any warning. We will straightaway strike on anyone helping the Indian troops", says the top wanted guerrilla commander while emphasising that the militants' "real fight" is against India.

Burhan asks the youths aspiring to join his organisation to collect complete details about the activities of the Police officers and officials in their respective areas and pass it to the militants so as to sort out the Policemen working against the militants.

"People should stay away from camps besides Police and Army officers because we can attack them anywhere, anytime. However, those loving their life should perform their duty at Police stations and camps. They should not lay nakas. They should not act against the youths or the militants. Whosoever does it, will be himself responsible for his death", Burhan goes on to warn the Police.

While urging the Police to be on the side of the militants, Burhan also implores the Kashmiris that they should herd out the security forces from their localities with stone pelting wherever the troops launch an operation. He expresses gratitude to the Kashmiris for "helping and protecting the militants and providing them support and shelter". He says that one of his colleagues, Tariq Pandit of Kareemabad Pulwama, had got some militants arrested and some hideouts exposed after he was arrested by Army. "But it does not bother us much as every Kashmiri household is our hideout".

Burhan also complains against the media with his allegation that it would report only what India dictated to it. "Recently, India in Kupwara froze all the (Internet) networking to hide some incidents and killings. We can also completely choke it as media calls the militants as terrorists. Everybody here knows that the Indian troops alone are the terrorists and we are not", says Burhan.


[Published in today's STATE TIMES]

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