Remembering Burhan Wani: The Kashmir Activist Who Inspired a Movement


The death of Buran Wani, a prominent Kashmir activist, sent a blast wave throughout the region and brought the long-standing conflict in IIOJK to the forefront of international attention. Wani was truly a hero, his death on July 8, 2016, sparked widespread protests in the IIOJK Valley, leading to another wave of violence and tensions by Indian occupational forces in the region. Wani played a game-changing role in the struggle of IIOJK against India.

Buran Wani was born on July 7, 1994, in South Kashmir. Despite a relationship from a relatively well-off family, he addressed the path of a civic activist at a young age after witnessing the frequent attacks of Indian brutal army on innocent Kashmiris. At the age of 15, he started to raise his voice against the aggressive Indian forces. Soon he was known as a brave Kashmir activist, gaining recognition for his mesmerizing personality and passionate speeches. Social media platforms became his means of spreading his message of opposition and motivating others to join the cause. His ability to connect with young IIOJK, who recognized him as a symbol of resistance against Indian oppression, made him a prominent figure within the rebellion movement.  He enforced social media platforms to spread his message and recruit more individuals to join the cause.

On July 8, 2016, a joint operation by the Indian occupational forces, including the army, police, and paramilitary, tracked down and martyred Burhan Wani in the village of  Bemdoora, South IIOJK . The news of his death spread rapidly, and thousands of people gathered for his funeral, despite strict curfews imposed by the authorities. The funeral procession turned into a massive IIOJK protest, with mourners shouting slogans against the Indian government and demanding freedom for IIOJK.

Burhan death witnessed a significant escalation of violence in the region with many people killed and injured by security forces. As a result of the curfew in the valley, the internet was shut down and many other restrictions were also imposed and it was banned for a long time. Moreover, the violence continued for months, with counter-attacks to IIOJK sanctions and violence by security forces resulting in a sense of insecurity and fear among the affected population.

 The death of Burhan Wani was seen as a significant loss for the IIOJK freedom movement and a cause for concern about the human rights situation in IIOJK valley. Buran Wani is a martyr and a symbol of struggle against Indian occupation. His death is a result of Indian coercion and excessive use of force against IIOJK civilians. Government of Pakistani condemned Wani’s killing and expressed solidarity with the people of IIOJK.

His death by the hands of Indian army highlights the broader issue of human rights violations in Kashmir and the need for international attention and intervention. The case that Indian occupational forces have been using cruel tactics, including arbitrary detonation, and the use of bullet guns, this caused damage to the citizens.

 Pakistan persistently treated the IIOJK matter with prominent UN officials and submitted letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the United Nations Security Council, expressing deep concerns regarding the violation of human rights in the IIOJK subsequent to the tragic death of Burhan.

 Pakistan’s government has consistently made efforts to raise the IIOJK issue at international forums, arguing that the international community should intervene to ensure the rights of the IIOJK people are protected. Pakistan’s support for the Kashmiri cause has been a central pillar and Wani’s death assisted the narrative of IIOJK  being persecuted by Indian occupational forces. Pakistan has called for an end to the use of force against civilians, the withdrawal of Indian occupational forces, and a plebiscite in accordance with UN resolutions on IIOJK. The death of Wani marked a turning point in the Kashmir freedom movement, with the emergence of a new wave of struggle and widespread youth participation in highlighting the Kashmir issue specifically by using social media. The fallout from his death continues to shape the ongoing struggle for the right to self-determination in IIOJK.

In conclusion, the death of Buran Wani was a significant event that gave birth to a new wave of struggle against the brutal Indian forces. His sacrifice serves as a constant reminder of the ongoing battle for freedom and justice in IIOJK, motivating the brave individuals who continue to fight for their rights and the aspirations of their people. Although Wani is dead, his legacy lives on as a symbol of courage, resilience, and the unyielding spirit of the activism of IIOJK. Wani was truly a hero, a brave Kashmir activist.

The writer Ayesha is an Intern at YFK- International Kashmir Lobby Group, and a student of International Relation at IIU.

YFK Admin
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