People across Indian-occupied Kashmir mourned the loss of Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri youth leader, on his fourth death anniversary on Wednesday, July 8.
The 22-year-old was the commander of one of the largest indigenous Kashmiri freedom fighters organisations — Hizbul Mujahideen. He was shot dead by the Indian army in the Kokernag area in 2016.
Burhan was born in the Sharifabad village of Jammu and Kashmir. His parents are teachers at a government school. The Kashmiri hero started his struggle for the freedom of his valley when he was 15.
He joined the armed struggle after the Indian army tortured and later martyred his elder brother Khalid Wani. He used technology and social media to promote the Kashmiri cause.
Following his death, the disputed land saw its longest shutdown and curfew in its history. Multiple clashes erupted between the Indian army and the people leading to nearly 100 people being killed, 15,000 injured and hundreds blinded by pellet guns.
His death, although mourned by hundreds of Kashmiris, also ignited a new spirit of freedom inside people. Burhan’s struggle became an inspiration for others in the valley.
His father says that he will keep striving for his sons’ mission till his death. “Our aim is to gain freedom from the Indian army,” he said.
To mark Burhan’s fourth death anniversary, a complete shutdown is being observed in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Veteran Hurriyat Leader Syed Ali Geelani has issued a statement paying tribute to him and his peers.