In a major blow to the Burhan group of militants, Tariq Pandit, a close aide of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, surrendered in Pulwama district of South Kashmir region on Saturday, officials said. "Tariq Pandit, a close associate of Burhan Wani, and a commander of HM outfit surrendered before the security forces", a senior police officer said.
Tariq Pandit surrendered before the officers of 55 Rashtriya Rifles deployed for anti-militancy operations, defence sources said.
Pandit had been seen in pictures that were posted on social media, showing Wani and his aides wielding weapons and wearing army fatigues.
Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old youth from Pulwama district, has become a militant icon for more than six months now to lure educated local youth into the cadre of insurgent groups. Security forces have not been able to arrest him yet.
Security forces have announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone leading to crucial information about Wani.