Burhan Wani, the most wanted regional commander of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, is using social media websites and the Internet to attract local Kashmiri youths towards militancy, reports said on Monday.
Burhan has been active in the Tral area in Pulwama district of south Kashmir – a favourite hideout for militants for years.
Son of a government school principal, Burhan is among the most dreaded militants of south Kashmir today. Some even call him the ‘face of terror’ in villages in south of Srinagar.
He carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. For several years, Burhan and other Hizb commanders have depended on terrorists trained in Pakistan to swell their ranks.
However, he has now found a new tool to attract local youth – social media.
If media reports are to be believed, then Burhan is active on social networking site ‘Facebook’, he also manges several websites and fan pages under names like Tiger Tral, HM Tral, Burhan Tral etc.
Burhan keeps changing the names of his Facebook pages and uses ‘Whatsapp’ effectively to spread his message.
From the past six months, Burhan has been releasing videos, photographs and messages through the net and mobile phones to allure young Kashmiris. In the videos, which have gone viral on the Internet, young men in battle fatigues can be seen displaying sophisticated weapons in abandoned orchards.
In some of the pictures he had posted earlier, militants do not even bother to cover their faces.
Burhan, who has become the face of new-age terrorism in the Kashmir Valley, has been trying to change the psyche of the local youth of south Kashmir.
His strategy is simple and lethal – to sell terrorism as a mix of risk-free employment and heroism.
Watching him surrounded by young Kashmiri boys, with fancy weapons, in one of the many videos posted by him on the net is enough to convinces the uneducated and jobless youth that militancy is a glamorous profession that has social sanction and carries minimum risk.
It’s said that he don’t waste time on sending youngsters to Pakistan. He first asks them to get a weapon and then assigns them a target. Those who clear the first two stages are finally recruited.
Rumour has it that Burhan, the regional commander of the Hiz-bul Mujaheedin, will begin a fresh recruitment drive from August 21. It is said that Burhan will offer Rs 35,000 as salary to anybody who is willing to join his outfit.
Only those who have cleared their class 10th exams can apply. Importantly, Bhurhan who is wanted in dozens of attack cases in Tral has become a major challenge to the security forces serving in Kashmir.