Srinagar: A former engineering student has emerged as the successor of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, asking the people of Kashmir to continue their agitation until the region gets ‘azaadi’ from India.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, an eight-minute video message by one Zakir Rashid Bhat is being seen as confirmation of his elevation to the post.
The video was mailed to local media houses in Kashmir on Tuesday and widely circulated through mobile messaging service WhatsApp, said reports.
“The hartals and protests should continue. Whosoever calls off the strike, it should not be allowed as we are only the followers of Allah...Till azadi we will keep struggling,” Bhat is quoted as saying in the video.
Asking Kashmiris not to believe rumours, Bhat said that people should not have burnt down the house in which Burhan was killed in Kokernag.
Bhat also asked the youth to shun recruitment drive for special police officers (SPOs).
The report said that Bhat asked the youth to avoid fighting with each other, and accused the Indian media of bias.
Bhat said "those branded dreaded terrorists, are common human beings who left their homes and took to gun because of tyranny of India".
But Burhan Wani’s successor also claimed that there were ‘some good people’ in India, who realized that the Kashmiris were suffering under the tyranny of India.
Zakir Rashid Bhat, said to be around 22 years, was a student of civil engineering in Chandigarh before he returned to his ancestral village Noorpura in Pulwama in 2013 and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, the only surviving Kashmir-based militant group.