Abdul Mannan Wani was Ph.D. student in Ali Garh Muslim University’s department of Applied Geology. Dr Mannan’s father Bashir Ahmed is a Lecturer. His elder brother is Junior Engineer and his sister is a college student. On 5th of January, 2018, a picture surfaced featuring Dr Mannan Wani carrying a UGPL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher). Dr Wani had joined the ranks of freedom fighters. His family members, however, did not know this. It was only when his image surfaced on social media, they knew he had joined the resistance movement.
According to the information available on website of Ali Garh University, Dr Wani had won the best award in a speech at an international event organized in the AISECT University (All India Society for Electronics & Computer Technology) on the topic of “Water, Environment, Ecology and Society.” He delivered the speech on his case study of analyzing the flood threat in Lolab Valley using Remote Sensing and GIS (Geographic Information System) techniques. The conference was a stupendous event as more than 400 different participants from different countries attended the conference. The countries included America, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, Iran, Italy, England, Bangladesh, China, South Korea, Kuwait, Tunisia, Malayisa, West Indies, Brazil and Yemen.
Mannan Wani had completed his Bachelors in Geology and Earth Sciences from University of Kashmir. He then took admission in Ali Garh Muslim University from where he completed his Masters and M.Phil in Geology. Mannan Wani was a prominent activist in the Student Union of Ali Garh Muslim University in 2016. He had contributed several articles on politics for The Campaign. The Campaign’s website had featured Mannan Wani as a Research Scholar from Ali Garh Muslim University who wrote on the topics of Politics and the Islamic Movements in history. Mannan Wani spent Eight months in the ranks of Freedom Fighters.
In January, 2018, he had departed from Ali Garh Muslim University to New Delhi when during the journey his contact was lost with his family. Until 5th of January, the family had no whereabouts of Mannan Wani. On 31st of January, his picture surfaced on Social Media when he joined the ranks of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. According to the sources, he spent most of his time in Southern Kashmir and Pulwama. He was often seen with Sameer Tiger. The news of his martyrdom had broken many times earlier as well.
The Burhan Wani Factor – A New Trajectory
After the martyrdom of Burhan Muzaffar Wani, it inspired countless youth to compete the Indian apartheid. From the martyrdom of Kashmir University Professor Rafi Bhatt to the martyrdom of Dr. Abdul Mannan Wani and Dr. Sabzar Sofi, there is an endless Burhan Wani Factor that has motivated and mobilized the educated youth of Kashmir to come up in their support to the indigenous freedom struggle of Jammu Kashmir. When the efforts of Indian government to exhaust the Burhan Wani effect was in progress, the martyrdom of Kashmir University Professor Rafi Bhatt recharged the Kashmir narrative. And so it happened after the martyrdom of Dr. Abdul Mannan Wani and Dr. Sabzar Sofi.
The Choice of Martyrdom
Referring the the choice of Burhan Wani to join the ranks of freedom fighters as a naive choice just because he joined the ranks in his teens has now become obsolete with the martyrdom of Dr. Abdul Mannan Wani. At 25, Dr. Abdul Mannan Wani being a Ph.D scholar was educated enough to decide in his senses and justify his position to join the ranks of freedom fighters. Professor Rafi Bhatt was just 33 years old. Just as Mehbooba Mufti called Mannan Wani a victim of Indian violence, many youth are deeply frustrated by the growing Indian atrocities and war crimes committed by Indian forces. Barging and infiltrating into the homes of Kashmiris, destroying the properties, violating the honor of women is a common business of Indian forces and police personnel. Such notions have contributed to the thought of Kashmiri youth that their future is nevertheless in utter danger in the hands of a tyrant occupier hence thereby leaving their educational and academic backgrounds for the sake of freedom for their people.
Many students have been rusticated from their universities including Ali Garh Muslim University, for joining the funeral prayers in absentia of Dr Mannan Wani. Dr Mannan Wani wrote two letters during his life as a freedom fighter. The letters can subsequently be read here (Letter #1) and here (Letter #2). After the Ali Garh Muslim University’s administration took action against 9 students by dismissing them from university, more than 1200 students threatened to quit the university over victimization He was a popular personality and a prominent student in his educational career.
The students said:
The Indian state is using universities as a hotbed of vote-bank politics at the expense of cherished values of freedom and liberty. The disappointing complicity of media with the fascist Hindu majoritarian- supremacist narrative has already started through the vilification and smear campaign, that’s following since, against Kashmiri students.
The Hurriyat leadership called for a state-wide strike against his martyrdom. Syed Ali Gillani, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Hafiz Saeed among many other Kashmiri and Pakistani leaders paid their glowing tributes to Dr. Abdul Mannan Wani and Dr. Sabzar Sofi.
More than 50 thousand people attended his funeral prayers. Since he took arms against the Indian occupation, he chose honour over disgrace, freedom over slavery, and faith over treachery. The educated youth of Jammu Kashmir will continue to join the ranks of freedom fighters until they have bogged down the unjust and illegal Indian occupation.
In a single week, more than 15 Kashmiris were martyred in the protests against Indian forces. Only a week later, another Ph.D scholar, Dr. Sabzar Sofi from Jamia Milia University, attained martyrdom. Hence, Jammu Kashmir suffered the loss of two Ph.D Scholars at the hands of Indian occupation, furhter raging the public and motivating their cause.
The Kashmiris have had enough of the severe war crimes and atrocities meted out to them by the Indian security forces. All has already been documented by UN report on human rights violations in Kashmir. No time could be better than this that the international community take notice of the gross human rights abuses in Jammu Kashmir committed by Indian authorities under Modi’s patronage. Pakistan must powerfully advocate the Kashmir case on international forums. However, mere lip-service won’t suffice the purpose instead practical and proactive steps are the direst need of the time.