A Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander surrendered on Saturday, dealing a major blow to the Burhan Wani group of militants in the Kashmir Valley, officials said.
Tariq Pandit, a top commander of the Hizbul, surrendered before the 50 Rashtriya Rifles in Pulwama district of Kashmir region.
An army spokesperson based in Northern Command in Udhampur confirmed this to HT.
“Tariq Pandit, a close associate of Burhan Wani, and a commander of HM outfit surrendered before the security forces”, a senior police officer also told IANS in Srinagar.
Burhan Wani, 21, who is son of a government school principal, is known for inciting youth to join the armed rebellion by posting videos and pictures on social networking sites.
According to reports, Wani’s pictures in fatigues and with a rifle and a video giving a sermon to people about launching a jehad had gone viral in the valley sometime back.
Despite their best efforts, Wani is still at large and the security forces have not been able to arrest or eliminate him.
A reward of Rs 10 lakh has been announced by the security forces for anyone leading to actionable information on Wani.
Last year in April, another close aide of Wani, Naseer Ahmad Pandit, was gunned down by forces in Shopian district. Naseer Ahmad Pandit was a former police constable, who used to work as a guard at the residence of a former Jammu and Kashmir minister. He had reportedly escaped with his service rifle to join Burhan-led HM.