Why do some people support Burhan Wani

India: Cashmere trouble spot

In early July 2016, security forces killed the young separatist Burhan in Kashmir. This triggered serious unrest in the Indian part of the region. More than 50 people have already died.

The mood in Kashmir's capital Srinagar is at the boiling point,the battle cries are evidence of pent-up anger. At first there are only a few, then more and more come together. The demonstrators who come to the demonstration after Friday prayers are mostly male and young, many are still children. “These people here don't follow the separatists, they don't follow the government, they don't follow the Indian army. They only follow their will ", describes a young student the situation, "The Indians hoist their flag in Kashmir wherever they want, but never in our hearts."

The police officers with helmets and protective shields are nervous. They fire tear gas and deafening stun grenades without warning.Your eyes burn, your lungs hurt, you lose your bearings. The demonstrators run away, some fall to the ground, and a little later the demonstrators throw stones at the security forces. They go over to the offensive. A helicopter suddenly circled overhead to direct the troops below.

Such scenes of violence have been part of everyday life in the Indian part of Kashmir since July 8th. That day, security forces killed Burhan Wani.He was a 22-year-old fighter on whom the Indian authorities put a large bounty for terrorist activities.

But the young people in Kashmir did not see Burhat Wani as a terrorist, but as a freedom fighter, explains the Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari. “Burhan symbolizes the anger of the young generation.He has the youngsters with his FacebookVideos for themselves, ”says the journalist. “We are sitting on a volcano here in Kashmir. It only took a spark to make it break out. Burhan was that spark. "

The unrest that reigned after Burhan Wani's death adds another bloody chapter to the tragic history of Kashmir. The previously independent principality in the Himalayan region has been divided since 1947.At that time the British colonial empire collapsed. With India and Pakistan, two states were formed, which to this day harbor deep hostility towards one another and each claim the Muslim-influenced Kashmir for themselves.

China has also picked off a small part. Today, Kashmir is one of the most heavily armed areas in the world. In the largest state hospital in Srinagar, Mubashir struggles for his eyesight.His face was hit by small bullets fired from the pellet rifles of Indian paramilitary policemen who were supposed to put down the riot. Presumably Mubashir will go blind like dozens of other young demonstrators. He threw stones, others also use Molotov cocktails and burning tires. “Our children are dying. You are innocent. It has to stop, the government has to stop it, ”sobs Mubashir's desperate mother, who watches over his bed.

“Why do the parents allow that? Where are the older ones? Where is civil society, why is there this vacuum? ",dares to ask Commander Rajesh Yadav, the spokesman for the paramilitary police units serving in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, everything on the streets stands still - until the next violent demonstration. The authorities have ordered a curfew and the leaders of the separatist parties have called a general strike. The separatists live under house arrest in magnificent villas in Srinagar.

The street fight is led by teenagers and children.India accuses Pakistan of recruiting and funding the youth street fighters. There are many extremist groups in Pakistan that have made it their business to fight Muslim Kashmir free from foreign rule by India.

A young student, whose university is currently on hold due to the unrest, describes the mood of the youth: "We feel locked up. Like in a cage. India uses our land without wanting us humans. India wants to secure its borders and prevent people from Pakistan from seeping in or China from invading. "

The student stayed away from the demonstrations and is still affected by the violence. He longs to have at least the chance to move freely on his own soil: “Whenever I leave the house to buy something, I have to pass armed men.We feel threatened, ”says the budding engineer.

For 70 years after the partition of Kashmir, no political solution has been in sight.There are no political negotiationsbetween India and Pakistan. And there is no political exchange between the separatists in the Indian part and the Indian government. Fewer fighters from the Pakistani part of Kashmir are penetrating the Indian part today. Instead, more and more young Kashmiris in the Indian part are turning to armed struggle, like Burhan Wani.

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Source:Giving hands-Editorial staff; according to information from: "ARD-Nachrichten online", ard.de

Tags:India, Kashmir, separatists, riots, violence, street fights, youth, Srinagar, tear gas, demonstration, curfew, division, Burhat Wani, Islam, Muslims, freedom, dead, violence