The Curious Afterlife of Burhan Wani


The Curious Afterlife of Burhan Wani

Illustration: Akshita Monga


year after the killing of Burhan Wani, the 22-year-old Hizbul commander, an uneasy quiet has descended upon Kashmir. The internet has been shuttered again and curfew declared in three towns including Wani’s hometown Tral, about 40 kilometres south of Srinagar, to prevent the holding of a rally marking his first death anniversary.

Yet, these measures will probably do little to dent the feeling among a large section of the Kashmiri population, especially the youth that considers Wani a hero. At the martyrs’ graveyard in Tral, Wani is buried in a spacious corner, demarcated from about 40-odd older graves of local and foreign militants. A knot of green grass grows around its mould, and a big memorial plaque announces his name and date of death in golden letters. A few youngsters surround it, their eyes closed, their hands raised in a silent prayer.