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Manan Wani’s killing sparks war of words between Omar Abdullah, Gautam Gambhir

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Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including PhD scholar-turned-terrorist Manan Bashir Wani, were killed Thursday during an encounter with security forces at Handwara in Kashmir, after which life across the Valley was affected by a separatist-called shutdown on Friday protesting the killing. But this not it, the killing also triggered a war of words between the state’s former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and cricketer Gautam Gambhir.

The war of words started after Gautam Gambhir held politicians including Omar Abdullah responsible for the killing of Manan Wani. Gambhir on Twitter said, “Mannan Wani’s death: We killed a terrorist and lost a radicalised talent. @OmarAbdullah @MehboobaMufti @INCIndia @BJP4India all should bow their heads in embarrassment that they left a young man drift from books to embrace bullet.” Hizbul commander Manan Bashir Wani, a Ph.D scholar of Aligarh Muslim University who joined militancy in January.

The National Conference (NC) leader replied to Gambhir saying, “This man wouldn’t be able to find Manan’s home district on a map much less his village & yet he presumes to know what drives young men in Kashmir to pick up the gun. Mr Gambhir clearly knows less about Kashmir than I do about cricket & I know almost nothing.”

The conversation soon escalated into a Twitter war, to which Gambhir replied, “Come on @OmarAbdullah you shouldn’t talk about maps, you are hell bent in changing the map of my country by talking Kashmir to Pakistan! Stroll out of that ivory tower and explain what u or ur fellow politicians have done to engage the Kashmiri youth”

The war of words didn’t end here, Omar Abdullah also added, “Come back when you’ve educated yourself about Kashmir and we can have an informed discussion till then you can keep playing to the galleries.”

Not ready to keep quiet, Abdullah replied, “It’s been less than a week since I had two of my colleagues killed by terrorists, my party has lost 1000s of workers, both senior & junior since 1988. I don’t need a lecture in nationalism & sacrifice from someone who wouldn’t know sacrifice if it kicked him.”

Later Gambhir replied said, “You aren’t alone @OmarAbdullah, most of ur lot (read politicians) don’t like mirror thrusted on u and that’s why my country is bleeding. Nationalism and sacrifice need men of real character and not someone like u searching for lip-service in 280 character limit of social media!!!”

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