A PhD scholar-turned-militant, Mannan Wani has come out for the first time to write about why he chose to join militancy in Kashmir.

The 26-year-old research student of Applied Geology at Aligarh Muslim University had gone missing in January only to appear on social media holding a grenade launcher. In a letter mailed to CNS, a local news agency, Monday, Wani described himself as a former PhD scholar from the AMU and currently a member of Hizbul Mujahideen.

CNS uploaded the letter on its website but later took it down.

Throughout the letter, Wani talks about “occupation” by India and how it is “manufacturing narratives”and“circulating new discourses” to justify its “military presence and oppressive measures to contain the populace of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“Our mission is to liberate our land from foreign illegal occupation and thus to create an environment of peace and justice wherein every thought and ideology would be discussed and debated and people will be given their right to chose whatever they like,” Wani writes in the letter.

He quotes Malcolm X, the assassinated American human rights activist, and responds to a bureaucrat and a politician, without naming them, for their justifications to propagate India’s cause and against death.

“We are soldiers. We don’t fight to die but to win, we don’t feel dignity in death, but we do feel dignity in fighting (Indian) occupation, its military might, its oppression, its tyranny, its collaborators and most of all its ego and if/when we die while fighting all this, we do feel dignity in that death,” Wani says in the letter.

He quotes NCERT textbook to describe a terrorist as “one who targets civilians indiscriminately to get their demands fulfilled”.

DGP, J&K, SP Vaid said he did not want to react on the letter. When asked that militants have also released a group photo, Vaid said: “We’ll deal with them. If you pick up gun you are taking to violence, it has to be dealt under law.

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