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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 1:00 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 1:00 AM (IST)

Hizb strategist Manan legitimised violence

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 11

In January, Kashmiri award-winning PhD scholar Manan Wani, 26, of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), announced that he had joined militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen while he was on a vacation in the Valley.

The picture of the gun-wielding Manan, a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya student till Class 10, surfaced on social media on January 7. Manan remained a militant for nine months and six days and was killed on Thursday in a gunfight in his native frontier Kupwara district along with a local militant.

The police said Manan was the Hizb “strategist” and used to operate in south Kashmir and on occasions used to travel to north Kashmir.

A police officer said Manan was also instrumental in recruiting youth in north Kashmir. “Manan was a close aide of Hizb chief Riyaz Naikoo and had been advising him over contemplating different strategies. For us, he was like any other militant.”

“In his write-ups, Manan legitimised violence and as per our information he was the chief adviser of Naikoo,” the police officer added.

The police have blamed the Hizb for the recent attacks on policemen in south Kashmir.

Before choosing the gun over the pen, Manan, hailing from a well-to-do and educated family in Kupwara, was pursuing PhD in applied geology from AMU and was described as a promising scholar by his guides and fellow researchers. Manan received an award for the best paper presented at an international conference on ‘Water, environment, ecology and society’ in 2016.

Before he went missing, he had last attended class at AMU on January 2. His family lost contact with him on January 4 when his phone was switched off.

A blogger, Manan had recently written two long pieces highlighting the reasons for joining militant ranks and also dwelt on the political situation in Kashmir.

Before joining militancy, Manan had written an open letter to moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, saying that the separatist movement was not moving in the right direction.

Close aide of Naikoo

  • The picture of the gun-wielding Manan, a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya student till Class X, surfaced on social media on January 7. Killed on Thursday in a gunfight, he remained a militant for nine months
  • The police say Manan was the Hizb ‘strategist’ and a close aide of its chief Riyaz Naikoo

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