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Omar says 'disaffected' have got 'new icon' in Wani

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that Kashmir's "disaffected" have got a "new icon" in Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and expressed apprehension that his death could lead to more youths joining militancy than his exploits on social media.

Omar says disaffected have got new icon in Wani
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Omar Abdullah

Srinagar

"Mark my words - Burhan's ability to recruit into militancy from the grave will far outstrip anything he could have done on social media," Omar wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

"After many years, I hear slogans for 'Azadi' resonate from the mosque in my uptown Srinagar locality. Kashmir's disaffected got a new icon yesterday," the National Conference leader said.

People assembled in Tral -- the hometown of Wani -- in Pulwama district for attending the funeral prayers.

Yesterday, Omar had said while Burhan was not the first one to take to arms, he would not be last as Kashmir issue is a political problem which requires a political solution.

"For all Burhan's social media activity I don't recall any militancy incident attributed to him while I was in office. "Not sure after that," he added.

Wani, the 21-year-old poster boy of militancy, was shot dead yesterday by security forces along with two of his accomplices in Kokernag area, 83 km from here.

Referring to funeral prayers for Wani in Tral, Omar said the saving grace for the government was that people assembled there do not seem to have intention of disturbing peace.

"Saving grace for the Govt is that in most places the people assembling seem to have no intention to disturb peace.

 "Otherwise if crowd this size were to turn violent & pelt stones it would be unmanageable. Hope cooler heads prevail," he said.

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