SIRINAGAR: A young commander of the Kashmiri Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Muzaffar Wani has invited the people of Kashmir, specially the youth, to join them and take up arms against India in a message conveyed via social media, according to reports in the Indian media.
This is the first time that a Kashmiri militant group has used social media to directly address the youth to take up arms against Indian forces.
Burhan Muzaffar, in his video message, said that he and his fellow militants had left their life of peace and luxury homes and have placed their lives on the line so that they could protect the chastity of the mothers and sisters of the nation.
The young commander referred to the Kashmiri policemen as “our own” in the video, and claimed that they had been supporting Indian propaganda against their fellow Kashmiri citizens. He appealed to them to refrain from such activities.
In a subtle threat to the police, Burhan said that as the policemen harassed their “families”, they too could make the families of policemen “unsafe”, but had justified that they refrained from doing so since their religion does not allow such injustice.
"We consider the families of the police personnel as our own," said the commander.
Considering the role of religious preachers, he advised them to either “preach the truth” or “remain silent”.
The militant commander threatened Indian informants in his message, who worked for the police, and said that he was giving them a “final warning” to cease and desist, else they could also fall victim to the Hizbul Mujahideen. He advised them to boycott India and not support it “at any front”.
The video message went viral on social media soon after it was released.
Earlier in April, massive protests erupted after Indian forces killed Burhan's brother, Muhammad Khalid Wani, in a "fake encounter" in the Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district.
The Indian army, however, dubbed Khalid a "terrorist" and maintained that soldiers were patrolling the forest area as part of their search operations to nab militants.
Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar was also injured in the attack in April.
Indian authorities earlier this month announced a 10,00,000 Indian Rupees (INR) reward for anyone with information leading to the young commander's arrest.