Senior Congress leader of Jammu and Kashmir, Saifuddin Soz today sparked a controversy saying he would have kept Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani alive for dialogue. Mere bas mein hota toh Burhan Wani ko zinda rakhta aur unse dialogue karta (I would have kept Burhan Wani alive for dailogue, if it was in my hands), ANI reported today. His comment comes a day before Burhan Wani’s death anniversary on July 8.
Wani was killed by security forces on July 8 last year which triggered violence in the Valley and led to the death of nearly 100 protesters with many being severely injured, according to Indian Express. Soz had earlier had suggested that the ‘draconian’ AFSPA law should be withdrawn from the Valley, according to an Indian Express report. A PTI report says, Soz on May 19 made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting to initiate a dialogue process with the Hurriyat Conference for resolving the Kashmir problem.
Ahead of Wani’s death anniversary, the Jammu and Kashmir Police yesterday told PTI, whatever arrangements are required for maintaining law and order and peace would be made. “Keeping in view the call of separatists and UJC (United Jehad Council), all the preventive measures that are to be taken in all districts have started in terms of the preventive arrests of the miscreants or to ensure that no unlawful assembly takes place,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had ordered to block all social media sites in Kashmir ahead of July 8. However, the ban was today lifted, ANI reported. In London, the Birmingham City Council had withdrawn the permission granted for a rally titled “Burhan Wani Day” to mark his first death anniversary after India lodged a strong protest.