Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged the people of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain peace following violent protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen district commander Burhan Wani.
On Sunday, Singh chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials at his residence. Home Secretary Anil Goswami, Joint Secretary (Kashmir division) Gyanesh Kumar, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief Dineshwar Sharma and senior Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials are present at the meeting. But the situation, as it appears, is far from normal. The Centre has decided to dispatch an additional 1200 paramilitary forces to the Valley. It would need a political science expert to gauge what Wani’s death means in the Valley; it was evident at his funeral – the largest procession in the 26 years of insurgency. Reports say some 30,000 turned up.
Funeral procession of Burhan Wani. Abid Bhat/KO
A mob violence then left around 12 people dead and about 200 injured in clashes of which most were security forces. A mob set fire to several vehicles and police posts. All of this while a curfew was imposed.
Separatists have called for a shutdown across the Valley in protest of Wani’s killing.
But Singh warned that “if peace and tranquility is not maintained then it will be very difficult for the people to find a solution.”
Wani’s killing was a major success for the security forces but will his death be a major blow to militancy? Omar Abdullah has his reservations.
Wani and his two associates were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kokernag area of Anantnag district on Friday.
Wani, 22, joined militancy at age 15 or 16 and soon became the poster boy of Kashmiri militancy. He was social-media savvy and was seen with his Kalashnikov-wielding guerrilla team in military fatigues. According to reports, despite the suspension of mobile internet services, #BurhanWani trended on Twitter and Facebook in Srinagar. CM Mehbooba Mufti sought people’s cooperation in restoration of normalcy. “Violence only brings miseries to the people and tragedies for the victim families,” she said and appealed to people, especially the youth, not to fall prey to machinations borne of vested interests.