NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – In an unexpected statement, India’s former spymaster has said that Burhan Wani (a Kashmiri separatist killed by Indian security forces last month) was different, popular and icon for the people of Kashmir.

“You may call him a terrorist, but you can’t ignore that he was some sort of an icon for the people there, he was different and popular. So, when he got killed, it created the situation for the flood of anger to come out” AS Dulat, a former head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), told The Economic Times in an interview.

The officer also detailed the decisive factors behind the Kashmir mayhem.

“There has been anger simmering for a long time and we [India] did not take cognisance of it. That anger just needed a spark, and Burhan Wani did that,” said Dulat, who was also adviser on Kashmir during Vajpayee stint.

The official went on to claim that the Kashmir unrest could only be resolved through dialogue both with Kashmiris and Pakistan. Last year, Dulat stirred controversy when he claimed that RAW bankrolled Kashmiri separatists.

Widespread protests erupted after the unlawful killing of Burhan Wani on July 8. Authorities in Kashmir have decided to lift restrictions from the Valley on Monday, except for some areas, after a 51-day- continuous curfew. The International community is continuously pushing India to resolve the longstanding conflict.