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New age militancy: Is Srinagar on an edge again?


Kashmir Indepth Exclusive

Srinagar, Feb 5:  No doubt primary focus of the new age militancy triggered by the young militant commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8, 2016, remained south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag. Since 2018 turned most deadly with police claiming highest ever jolts to militancy with the killing of 250 militants, highest in a decade, Srinagar of late seems to be on a slippery ground with young boys getting hooked to militancy.

Not to talk about previous cases of Eisa Fazili, a B.Tech student, Srinagar saw killing of young militant Faid Waza of Khanyar, Sajad alias Saje Bila from Nowhatta and the top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba Mehrajudin Bangroo, to name a few. In yet another case of Ehtesham Bila, a technology student who was studying in Dehli University, police and his family put in their best to get him back and they succeeded.

Now what seems to be a dangerous trend is attraction of Srinagar boys towards militants. Danish Haneef Wani, a 22-year-old B.com graduate, is a latest case in point. Danish performed Umrah in February 2018, got a job at private gas company and was living a happy life. On December 30 last year, he left for Zuhr (afternoon) prayers and since then didn’t return. His disappearance triggered a storm in his family with his mother and the ailing mother moving from pillar to post to know about the where about their son, eldest between the two. Son of a government employee, Danish remained untraced till February 1, 2019.  And today (February 2), he surfaced on a social networking site, with a gun hanging on his neck and a copy of Quran in his right hand.

“We had never thought that Danish will take such an extreme step. He had never been part of stone pelting or a pro-freedom protest march. There is no case against him in the police station,” said Shoaib Wani, the younger brother of Danish told Kashmir Indepth.

In a tremendous shock and grief, Danish’s mother, Yasmeena Jan made a fervent appeal to her son asking him to come back for the sake of his parents, uncle and aunties. “I want my son back. Somebody bring him back,” she said in a video message to Kashmir In-depth.

Not to allow the situation slip out of hands, police will try the same model that was used to bring back Ehtesham Bilal of Khanyar, who had purportedly joined Islamic State of Iran and Syria. A senior police officer said they were verifying the authenticity of the photograph. “We are in touch with his parents and hope that Danish pays heed to his mother’s passionate appeal and would return home soon,” he said.


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