SRINAGAR: The massive outpouring of support for Burhan Wani in the form of funeral processions and protests, in which 21 civilians have been killed by government forces, prompted the government to block internet and public movement. The defiant public has responded by scribbling walls and public places with pro-Burhan graffiti.
At the city center Lal Chowk, graffiti reading ‘Burhan still in our hearts. Burhan still alive’, ‘Leader of resistance, Burhan’ and ‘Burhan our hero’ have been written on walls.
At the SHMS hospital, where most of the injured are being brought from rural areas, a message outside the medical emergency reads, ‘Burhan aap shaheed huway, hamae kis kae saharae choda? (Burhan you became a martyr, you have left us alone?). Two other graffiti in English read ‘Today we mourn, lion is no more’ and ‘Burhan always in our heart.’
Although pro-resistance graffiti dot the Valley, pro-Burhan messages appeared in the backdrop of the government clampdown on internet and mobile phone services.
“We want to make it loud and clear to the Indian state that we want freedom. We will use whatever avenues we have to manifest it. State’s restriction won’t stop us anyway. This resistance will continue until the dawn of freedom. The resistance will continue through Facebook, stones and guns,” said Abdul Mannan, a protestor who wrote some of these messages.
Anger is palpable among the youth the reporting of some Indian news channels that tried to counter pro-Burhan uprising in the Valley by saying that the Hizb commander had multiple affairs and a girlfriend had given him away.
That is probably why many volunteers at the SMHS hospital were suspicious of reporters.
“You all report a lie. You either tamper with our given statements or portray it in a way that suits India. Tell me how was Burhan the terrorist? Is fighting against zulm (oppression) a sin,” a youth told this reporter at the hospital.