Srinagar, Oct 11: Scholar turned Hizbul Mujhadeen Commander Manan Bashir Wani was Thursday killed along with an associate in a fierce gunfight with Government forces in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
The other slain militant was identified as Ashiq Ahmed Zargar, a resident of Tulwari Langate.
The gunfight raged between trapped militants and soldiers in Shatgund Qalamabad area of Handwara town.
A police spokesman said the forces in the wee hours on Thursday launched a cordon and search operation at Shatgund Bala area.
“During the searches, the hiding militants fired on the search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. Consequently the civilians in the nearby areas were evacuated. Further following the SOP attempts to make the militants to surrender failed.In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed. In the operation no collateral damage has taken place,” the spokesman added.
Soon after, authorities ordered the closure of all colleges and educational institutions in parts of Kashmir after the news came to fore that Manan was killed in the encounter.
The authorities didn’t reveal the name of Manan for a long time, however, it dawned upon the people later on that Scholar turned militant commander Manan Wani is one among the two militants killed in the gun fight.
Internet was suspended in parts of North Kashmir to block information about Manan. Massive clashes erupted near gunfight site. Over a dozen protesters suffered injuries. Government Forces fired tear-smoke shells and pellets to keep protesters at bay. Clashes erupted in various parts of Kashmir after the killing.
Manan, an AMU research scholar from Kupwara was in news for joining militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen earlier this year in January. Mannan is the son of Bashir Ahmad Wani. He was pursuing his PhD in applied Geology at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Mannan’s brother Mubashir Ahmad is a junior engineer.
Manan usually surfaced in some videos mostly shot in South Kashmir. He appeared in a couple of funerals of militants. Security Agencies believed that he had made South Kashmir’s Kulgam his bastion, little did they know, Manan will be killed in North Kashmir’s Handwara town.
“It’s a big achievement and a great set back to militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen,” said a police official.
Tens of thousands of people participated in the funeral of Manan Wani at his native Tekipora village of Kupwara district.
Reports said that over 20,000 people took part in the funeral prayers of Wani. “It looked as if the entire population of Lolab valley had assembled in Tekipora,” reports quoting an eye witness said.
Manan’s two letters went viral recently in which he vehemently supported the cause of freedom. An FIR was lodged against a local news agency for circulating his letter on its web portal.
The official website of the Aligarh Muslim university says that 26-year-old Mannan was pursuing a PhD on ‘Structural and Geo-Morphological Study of Lolab Valley, Kashmir’. Mannan had also received an award for the best paper presented at an international conference on ‘Water, Environment, Ecology and Society’ in 2016, according to the AMU website.
“Mannan Bashir Wani, Research Scholar at Department of Geology, Aligarh Muslim University has been awarded the ‘Best Paper Presentation Award’ in an International Conference on ‘Water, Environment, Energy and Society’ (ICWEES) held at AISECT University, Bhopal.The award was conferred to Mr Wani for his paper ‘Flood Risk Assessment of Lolab Valley from Watershed Analysis Using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques’,” says AMU Website.
“Around 400 delegates from 20 different countries including the USA, Austria, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, Iran, Italy, UK, Bangladesh, China, South Korea, Singapore, Kuwait, Tunisia, Malaysia, West Indies, Brazil and Yemen had participated in the Conference to present their research papers,” it adds.
Meanwhile, the authorities at Kashmir University (KU) have decided to suspend the class work at the main campuses and all satellite campuses on Friday.
“This is for the information of all the concerned that due to the prevailing conditions in the valley, the class work for October 12 in main campus and satellite campuses shall remain suspended,” reads a notice issued by deputy registrar, academic affairs of the varsity.
Also all schools and colleges will remain closed tomorrow in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district in view of Manan’s killing.
“All government Educational institutions including Degree Colleges, Private Schools /Colleges in the territorial jurisdiction of District Bandipora shall remain closed on 12th Of Oct 2018,” said the District Magistrate Bandipora.
Earlier, the authorities closed all the educational institutions in the frontier district except in Machil, Tanghdar and Keran areas and snapped internet services in parts of Handwara and Kupwara.
The schools and colleges were closed in Bandipora district along with Colleges and Higher Secondary Schools in Pattan and Baramulla. Also degree college Pulwama has been closed by the authorities, the officials added.
Meanwhile, authorities have decided to impose restrictions in Old city and other sensitive parts of the valley as a precautionary measure to prevent protests.