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Father of Terrorist Burhan Wani meets Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at his Ashram in Bengaluru

Over 70 people have died in clashes with security forces in Kashmir Valley since Wani's death

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Bengaluru, August 28, 2016: The father of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani whose death on July 8 sparked off the current violent unrest in Kashmir Valley has met spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at his ashram in Bengaluru.

The spiritual guru, the founder of the Art of Living, on Saturday, tweeted a photo of himself with Wani’s father, Muzaffar Wani.

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“Muzaffar Wani, the father of Burhan Wani was in the ashram for the last 2 days. We discussed several issues,” Ravi Shankar tweeted.

The news of the meeting was also retweeted by the Art of Living foundation.

Burhan Wani, 22, educated and media savvy, had emerged as the poster boy of terrorism. He was killed in a gunfight with security forces on July 8 in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir.

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News of his death sparked massive protests across Kashmir, with thousands coming to attend his funeral.

Over 70 people have died in clashes with security forces in Kashmir Valley since Wani’s death. (IANS)

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EU Analyses Designating Pakistani Militant Leader Masood Azhar a Terrorist

JeM is already a U.S.- and U.N.-designated terror group

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FILE - Indian activists carry placards of the leader of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, Masood Azhar, during a protest denouncing an attack on the Indian air force base in Pathankot, in Mumbai, India, Jan. 4, 2016. VOA

The European Union is reportedly contemplating designating the leader of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) a terrorist.

The EU’s decision comes nearly a week after a push by France and India to declare JeM leader Masood Azhar a terrorist and freeze his assets.

JeM is already a U.S.- and U.N.-designated terror group.

Focus on Kashmir

Azhar is an Islamist extremist who wants to end Indian control of a portion of the disputed Kashmir area and merge it with Pakistan. He was born in 1968 in Pakistan’s Punjab province in a Deobandi (Sunni sect) Muslim family.

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Azhar founded Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000 and maintained his affiliation with several terror groups, including al-Qaida, Hurkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), all U.S.-designated terror groups. Wikimedia

He reportedly received his early education in Bahawalpur, Punjab, and later enrolled in Jamia-ul-Uloom, an Islamic seminary in Karachi, where he became a teacher.

Azhar founded Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000 and maintained his affiliation with several terror groups, including al-Qaida, Hurkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), all U.S.-designated terror groups.

JeM is believed to be based in the Peshawar region of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Azhar received his militant training in Afghanistan in the 1980s and fought Soviet troops there.

Spurred by jihad decree

Azhar reportedly traveled to Afghanistan in 1988 with his brother, Ibrahim Azhar, who according to analysts played a key role in shaping Masood’s religious ideology.

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FILE – Muslim cleric Masood Azhar arrives at Karachi airport, Jan. 22, 2000. VOA

“Azhar himself mentioned in one of the articles that his inclination towards jihad started when Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, head of the Karachi Jamia-ul-Uloom at that time, issued an Islamic decree for students to go and participate in Afghan jihad,” Mujahid Hussain, an author and expert on terror outfits, told VOA.

It was during his time in Afghanistan that Azhar developed a relationship with al-Qaida and its leadership, and later worked closely with the terror group.

Azhar traveled to several countries, including Britain, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, India and Bangladesh, to raise funds and recruit youth toward jihad.

He has written over 20 books on Islamic history and the importance of jihad.

Location a mystery

Azhar’s current whereabouts are unknown. Some experts in Pakistan believe he is living in Bahawalpur, a city in southern Punjab.

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Azhar traveled to several countries, including Britain, Saudi Arabia, Zambia, India and Bangladesh, to raise funds and recruit youth toward jihad. Wikimedia

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“I personally know many people who have met Azhar in Bahawalpur. Azhar reportedly goes to the mosques, gives sermons and greets people. And he continues to write for JeM’s magazine,” Hussain said.

On Feb. 5, when various religious parties throughout Pakistan marked Kashmir Day, an audio clip of Azhar was played during a JeM rally in Karachi. In the audio, Azhar invited people toward jihad.

“Stay determined,” he said. “And instead of going one by one, if you all go out there together as a group, India won’t be able to stand us for even one month. (VOA)