SRINAGAR: Zakir Rashid Bhat, a former engineering student, who was a close associate of slain Hizb-ul-Mujahedin’s poster boy Burhan Muzaffar Wani, has posted a message on YouTube asking the Valley people to make the ongoing stir successful. He has also urged youths to stay away from police recruitments. Bhat, who is being projected by the Hizb as Wani’s successor, also asks the people to maintain unity and remain cautious of "vested interests" who, he says, are against the ongoing "freedom movement" and "want to create a wedge"
22-year-old frontline militant Bhat studied civil engineering
The 8-minute video was also mailed to Srinagar newspapers on Tuesday and earlier widely circulated through mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Official sources said that the authorities are contemplating to approach the YouTube administrator with a request to scrub out the video.
Bhat, 22, who studied civil engineering in Chandigarh before joining Kashmir’s indigenous frontline militant outfit in 2013 has also said that the "martyrdom" of Wani and two others has infused a new lease of life into the ongoing separatist campaign in Kashmir which he calls "freedom struggle".
He says in chaste Urdu, "We all know how the martyrdom of our three brothers has brought movement to a new point. Now we need to support this struggle and take it to its logical conclusion."
Bhat is a resident of Noorpora, the village in southern Pulwama district’s Tral area which is hardly 10 kilometres from Shariefabad where Wani lived. Bhat’s father is a civil engineer working in a J&K government department.
He urges the people to make the protest calendar issued by a recently formed ‘issue-based’ loose alliance of key separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik from time to time a success.
"The hartals and protests should continue. Whosoever calls off the strike, it should not be allowed as we are only the followers of Allah," he says in the video message.