LAHORE: A Lashkar-e-Taiba ‘ameer’ or chief was leading the funeral procession of 22-year-old terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter in Kashmir earlier this month, Jamaat ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has claimed. His statement comes as a pointer to the Pakistan-based terror group’s role in anti-India protests in Kashmir Valley.
“Burhan Wani was martyred. Lakhs of Kashmiris came to the streets to attend his funeral. Did you see a man who was being carried on shoulders by the crowd? Do you know this youth who was leading the procession? Do you know who he is? He is ‘ameer’ of LeT,” said Hazif Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
His statement that LeT ‘Ameer’ Abu Dujana was leading Wani’s funeral procession earlier this month after the Hizbul Mujahideen commander was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir was made at a rally in Faisalabad, about 185 km from Lahore.
Saeed, designated a terrorist by the United States with a USD 10 million bounty on his head, heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is seen as a front group for the outlawed LeT.
He also claimed that Kashmiri separatist leader Asiya Andrabi called him over phone and sought help.
“Asiya Andrabi called me over phone and asked, ‘where are my Pakistani brothers? We are in trouble… I told my Pakistani brothers to respond to her call. It was immediately decided to send a group to Kashmir and within three days all preparations were done. Several people from Faisalabad went to Kashmir,” he said.
Wani’s death unleashed the worst violence in the Kashmir Valley in six years. Nearly 50 people have died; 5,000 of which 3,000 are security force personnel, have been injured in clashes that, till recently, placed the region under curfew and without mobile and internet services.
Saeed, who travels freely and gives speeches inciting people to attack Western and Indian interests, had warned more violence in Kashmir in a recent interview.
The LeT was behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and was banned in Pakistan in 2015.