Mehbooba, Mirwaiz, Shah Faesal express sadness
SRINAGAR: Anguish and anger was expressed on social media in Kashmir at the killing of Mannan Wani by government forces, with tributes pouring in for the “martyr” and Facebook and Whatsapp profile pictures changing to “I am Mannan”.
On Twitter, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and resistance leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed their shock.
“Today a PhD scholar chose death over life & was killed in an encounter. His death is entirely our loss as we are losing young educated boys every day,” Mehbooba wrote on her Twitter handle.
In another tweet, Mehbooba advocated resumption of dialogue to resolve the Kashmir dispute. “It is high time that all the political parties in the country realise the gravity of this situation and try to facilitate a solution through dialogue with all the stake holders including Pakistan to end this bloodshed,” she said.
On his Twitter handle, Mirwaiz wrote, “Alas! Heard the tragic news of MannanWani’s Martyrdom and of his associates! Deeply pained that we lost a budding intellectual and writer like him, fighting for the cause of self-determination. JRL appeals to people to observe a complete Shutdown tomorrow to pay homage to him.”
IAS bureaucrat Shah Faesal on his Facebook page wrote a post: “Sad to hear about the death of a PhD Scholar. He was from my neighboring village and his father was a former colleague. His parents only know what it means to lose a son and I share their grief.”
Shah further wrote that he had seen immense promise in Mannan Wani and that he wished Mannan had not taken to the path of “violence”.
“I saw some of his blogs and he showed immense promise as an educated, young leader. We needed him. I wish that he had not taken to the path of violence. In despair, I often wonder what if the cause remains unchanged but the method changes, wouldn’t it be the same thing?” Faesal wrote.
In his post, Faesal suggested that instead of dying for Kashmir it would be better to live for Kashmir. “I often ask myself what would happen if those who are ready to die for Kashmir decide to live for Kashmir and make a difference? Someone has to blink. This war had to end,” he wrote.
Facebook pages of hundreds of Kashmiris were flooded with photos of Mannan from his student days and with photos of him wielding his gun. Many changed their profile picture to that of Mannan’s, on which was written, “I am Mannan”.
Quotes from his earlier letters, which were published in some sections of media, were also posted. “This is not one Mannan down. This is hundred Mannans reborn,” read a post on Facebook.