Syed Junaid Hashmi

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Jammu: From regretting his killing to talking about giving him a second chance publicly, Jammu and Kashmir government has virtually justified killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by calling him a ‘dreaded militant who was facing 15 criminal cases’.

The Home department of Jammu and Kashmir in an official document, a copy of which is with Kashmir Life, has said that Burhan was a hardcore HM militant and had 15 criminal cases against him including the killing of Panchs and Sarpanchs besides targeting Army personnel. Police had on July 16, 2016 claimed officially that Burhan Wani was facing six criminal cases but now, the cases he faced have mounted to 15.

Mourners carry Burhan Wani's body for burial. Pic: Bilal Bahadur

According to details, the first case against Burhan Wani was registered in Awantipora police station, close to his hometown Tral. It was registered after militants attacked and injured a Sarpanch, Abdul Ahad Rather of Dadsara. Rather belonged to the PDP.

Police again named Burhan in an FIR when militants attacked and injured another Sarpanch, Qutubdin of Gulab Bagh in Awantipora. Sources said that the first case where Burhan’s involvement in a militant action against the Army was recorded by the police was the Buchoo encounter, in which three Army men were killed. Police had named Burhan in an FIR in May 2013 registered for this encounter in which one militant, Saifullah, was also killed.

Burhan has also been named in an open FIR 24/2015. He has a case registered against him for a video message that he issued last year. Another FIR was filed against him in Awantipora for a separate video message he released earlier this year. The FIRs under IT act too have been added to the list of cases registered against Burhan Wani.

This is in complete contrast to the public posturing of both the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who holds the portfolio of Home Department and Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh. Mehbooba has repeatedly said that the police and 19-RR team suspected three militants were hiding without knowing who they were. “Had I known about Burhan Wani, I would have given him a second chance in the wake of ongoing economic activity, improving situation and booming tourism,” is what Mehbooba has reiterated now and then.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh had Weeks after the killing of  Burhan Wani,  said that the incident was an accident. He had gone on to say that troops were unaware of the presence of Wani at the encounter site. However, the home department has categorically stated that Burhan was a hardcore militant facing criminal cases and was hence, killed in an encounter in Bumdoora village of Kokernag in Islamabad district of South Kashmir.


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