The Jammu and Kashmir government has approved the release of compensation to families of 17 people killed during counter-militancy operations in the region, including Khalid Muzafer Wani, brother of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani. Khalid Wani was killed on April 13, 2015. The money is generally given out to victims of counter-militancy operations, and the Army has held that Khalid was a militant working with his brother’s outfit.
Khalid Wani had reportedly told his mother that he was going for a picnic with his friends. But investigators said he was working with the militant outfit and that they had intelligence inputs that he was on his way to meet his brother. He was killed in a forest in Tral.
The funds were cleared at a district-level committee meeting on November 24. “We have issued the notice to clarify if anybody has any objection with these cases. Many departments remain absent during the meeting, which is why we have to be very careful and transparent, before issuing final order,” deputy commissioner of Pulwama, Muneer ul Islam, told Economic Times.
The family of the deceased will get an ex-gratia amount of Rs 4 lakh and a government job. The list also includes Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, who was killed during Army raids in August. His family has held that the lecturer was tortured to death by security personnel.
While the director general of police said he had no idea about the development, the Bharatiya Janata Party has opposed the decision. “The BJP will oppose it because we are of the firm opinion that he was a terrorist. There is no provision for grant of ex-gratia or compensation to the family of a slain terrorist,” said Sunil Sethi, advocate and chief spokesperson of the party’s state unit.
He said Khalid was not an innocent victim of cross-firing between security forces and terrorists, reported The Indian Express. “He was killed in a successful operation by security forces. Our party’s state president Sat Sharma will talk to BJP ministers in the coalition government in this regard,” Sethi said.
Khalid’s brother Burhan Wani was killed on July 8. The region has been marred by violent protests and curfews since his death. Around a hundred people have lost their lives during clashes with security personnel in the past few months and thousands have suffered serious injuries during demonstrations.