Manan Wani, AMU Scholar who turned militant killed in Kupwara gunfight

Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including PhD scholar-turned-terrorist Manan Bashir Wani, were killed Thursday during an encounter with security forces at Handwara in frontier district of north Kashmir, officials said. Police, however, said the identities of both the militants was being ascertained.

The encounter broke out in the early hours at Satgund in Handwara following a specific intelligence about presence of Wani, 27, along with two others, they said. Wani had joined militancy in January 2018.

Giving details emerging from the encounter site, which ended, police and other security forces were fired upon by holed up militants resulting in exchange of fire which continued till 11 AM.

Police was also making repeated announcements on public address system appealing to the militants to surrender, the officials said.

There was a lull in firing at around 9 AM, prompting the police to initiate search operation at the encounter site, but the same had to be suspended after firing resumed after 15 minutes, the officials said.

Wani, who was enrolled as a PhD scholar with the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), joined militant ranks in January this year.

Who was Manan Wani?

Earlier this year, standing amidst hundreds of fellow students in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), eyeing for a better job to live up to a considerable lifestyle, a PhD scholar gave up the pen to pick up gun and “fight against occupation of Kashmir.”

Manan Wani, a native of Lolab area in district Kupwara, joined the militant ranks in January 2018, was killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Handwara, North Kashmir.

26-year-old, Hizbul Mujahideen commander, “picked up the gun to resist the atrocities of Indian forces.” While announcing of him joining the ranks, Wani told that the “occupation won’t end, unless we do not fight with arms against their forced occupation of Kashmir.”

Soon after picking the gun, Wani penned down a letter, which was circulated by the social media cell of the militant outfit. Wani argued about his choice of life and proposed a vision for the ‘Tehreek’.

“I did analyze the wisdom of those in chairs, who wanted us to abandon false hope and macabre heroism, and work towards a dignified exit from the conflict,” said Wani. Clarifying his chosen path, he said that it is also a response to elite people of Kashmir – the product of a fraudulent democracy, worst occupation and allegedly intellectualism.

Wani was among the most discussed narrative of militancy in the social media, and it earned him fame in the valley. National media also highlighted the news of his joining, and choosing the gun over the pen, and put a question mark in the ongoing narrative of young minds.

Attacking the Jammu and Kashmir police force, Wani said, “The breed of collaborators that is emerging and the new fronts being cobbled are only to downplay the people’s will. The police functions to kill and civil servants are enthusiastic PSA appliers.”

Asking people of the valley to boycott the elections, Wani conveyed a message ‘not to fall in the same trap every day’. He continued, “Not to vote even if you are dragged by them, stay away from ballots as that will save us from bullets in the long run.”

He defined the freedom struggle through the specs of gender neutrality. He said, “it (freedom movement) has seen the women being raped and men as well. Sacrifices of the women are our motivations, they have offered their modesty, eyes, and lives.”

Asking the female sect from the valley to put in their hand, he said, “our sacrifice is nothing in comparison to them and we want them to be brave, active and resilient. We together make the nation, and together we will fight the occupation.”

“Till the path of martyrs is walked, no corrupt narrative will find its space in Kashmir. The day, the gun is silent, their deceit will succeed,” wrote late Manan Wani.