The situation across Kashmir is not normal. It is neither under control, nor in accordance with law and order. It has been three days since this disputed portion of earth started witnessing desertion and bloodbath on each of its streets. The situation was tense when the heart-wrenching news was shared that “the local rebel, who at his small age turned to militant ranks and became a popular hero like Robin Hood, achieved martyrdom in one remote area of south Kashmir”.

Since this news self-propagated like a wave, people from adjoining areas of south Kashmir came out on streets shouting pro-freedom and anti-Indian slogans. The sloganeering reverberated across Kashmir when the news reached other parts of the valley and Kashmiris came out of their houses. Slogans were chanted outside mosques, and rallies were taken from one end to another supporting Burhan and company for their contribution to the freedom of Kashmir. People were continuously endorsing martyred rebels with slogans:

“Asalam o asalam, aye shaheedo asalam”

Some people are still unaware as to “why a village boy from a good middle class family, whose father had worked as principal in one Government school choose to become a militant.” There are many reasons I must say, but this time I will highlight one which has remained a wound for all Kashmiris.

The answer in nutshell is:

“Kashmir and Kashmiris are demanding human rights, which unfortunately has never been given to them”.

From the day the Maharaja signed accession, to this date, the Kashmiri people have faced a lot of oppression, both from Indian political parties as well as from the Indian forces. From rapes to killing, there is no place in Kashmir which hasn’t witnessed oppression. Even the reports released by Amnesty International lay bare for the human eye that this unfortunate part of earth has faced a lot of torment.

Since the world has closed its eyes and ears towards Kashmir, Indian army has enjoyed killing after killing, rapes and tortures across Kashmir. This unfortunate part of earth has been caged with more than 700,000 troopers who are here, in Kashmir, to claim the said part of earth as India’s integral part. These reasons are enough for a Kashmiri citizen to turn to militancy at any conceivable age.

To join the militant ranks is nobody’s dream. It is the oppression which pushes one to become part of a resistance organisation. The reasons were enough for Burhan Muzaffar Wani to choose the path of militancy and to resist Indian oppression here.

For the last six years, Burhan gave sleepless nights to the Indian army, escaping from almost 100 encounter sites. He kept the security personnel on tenterhooks and had been a headache for the army as well as the state paramilitary forces. As per reports and press release by the police as well as the army, killing him was a major success.

The encounter brought an end to Burhan’s motivational capacity, which in fact was another headache for the police. It was Burhan’s motivation which had pushed more than 50 young, educated, energetic boys to join militancy. Not only from the remote areas, but across Kashmir, people took the initiative by helping the new age militancy to survive for almost 6 years. But in the aftermath of Burhan’s killing the situation took an ugly turn – something one doesn’t expect from local police.

The situation across Kashmir went out of control. Burhan’s killing may be a success for the army as well as the police, but it fuelled the new wave of militancy which in fact may attract a hundred new boys to join the path of Burhan.

Burhan’s native town, which is a remote area of south Kashmir, 40 km away from summer capital Srinagar – a place often claimed as hot bed for militants – witnessed a massive rush of people from every part of Kashmir amid curfew. More than two hundred thousand mourners in long chains came to Tral to attend the funeral of their role model. Many came to this southern part of Kashmir to catch a glimpse of their hero. Not only were the Muslims present in the funeral, but there were Sikhs as well. People on social networking portals shared pictures, in which a Sikh was mourning the death of Burhan.

“They may torture my body, break my bones, and even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Aftermath Burhan’s killing more than 30 people have lost their lives since this unrest started. More than 300 protestors were injured in peaceful protests. Hundreds of people have sustained serious injuries. The numbers are increasing after every passing hour. The phone lines as well as the internet have been snapped. Several parts of Kashmir are witnessing restrictions, curfews. At many places CRPF troopers have opened fire on peaceful protestors.

Amid all these restrictions, nothing seems to keep people from spilling out on to the streets. The current situation is turning out to be more critical than what transpired in 2008 and 2010. The party which is in power seems to be in no hurry to control the situation. In fact the same party gave license to the troopers to colour the streets with blood. That is why for every stone the security troopers are retaliating with fire.

Those people who have had witnessed the post 90s period call the current situation as re-emergence of past. The new educated youth are more loyal to freedom than anything else.

It is an old saying that “the tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.” And this is what is happening these days. Burhan is no more but his rule begins. He is still haunting the Indian state from his grave.