Kashmir-centric political parties and Pakistan backed separatists “glorified” Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist commander Manan Wani, who was last week killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir. That has triggered a war of words not only between the BJP and the Valley-centric political parties but also among the National Conference (NC) and PDP.

Former chief minister and PDP leader, Mehbooba Mufti’s immediate reaction after killing of Wani in which she described the HM terrorist as a “victim of relentless violence in Kashmir”, has been criticised by the BJP and various other political parties outside and within the state.

In a sharp reaction, another former chief minister and NC leader, Omar Abdullah accused Mehbooba’s government of making “every effort to trap and kill Manan Wani”, and said “her crocodile tears won’t work any longer.”

Omar said that Mehbooba headed the Unified Command which directed the security forces to execute “Operation All-Out” and she famously justified the killing of young protestors in 2016 saying “they aren’t coming out to buy milk or toffees”.

The BJP that till recently shared power with Mehbooba has criticised her and NC for “glorifying” Manan Wani. These parties were providing political umbrella to Pakistan sponsored terrorists who were killing innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir, alleged Brigadier Anil Gupta (Retired), state spokesman of BJP.

Gupta alleged that by eulogising Wani, both Kashmir-centric parties are making a desperate attempt to please the separatist camp and are trying to woo the Kashmiri youth and regain lost ground.

Mehbooba also pleaded for withdrawing suspension of three students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU who reportedly organised funeral prayers for Wani. She said,”Pushing youth to the wall will be counterproductive. The state governments outside Jammu and Kashmir should be “sensitive” to the situation and “prevent further alienation”, she said.

Reacting sharply to Omar Abdullah’s allegation that Mehbooba Mufti was responsible for lot of bloodshed and violence and she had made all efforts to kill Manan Wani, Mehboob Beg, a senior PDP leader said, “It was quite unfortunate that Wani’s killing was being politicized and the least that one could do at this stage is to maintain dignity.”

Top separatists, Syed Alishah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik were trying to misuse the situation by inciting the Kashmiri youth against India and also the security forces. Their frequent shutdown calls have broken the back of small and marginal businessmen and those connected with tourism trade in the valley as they were being hit economically.

BJP spokesman said that “politicising the death of Wani by the Kashmir-centric parties is like adding fuel to fire. Wani was a terrorist and his scholarly pursuit or degree carries no meaning”. Wani was a perpetrator of violence in Kashmir and was responsible for senseless killings of innocent people.

CPI(M) leader and MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami alleged that a hate campaign has been unleashed against Kashmiri students in the country and asked the Centre to take steps to ensure their safety outside the state.