SRINAGAR: Indian Army claimed to have arrested a top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit – Tariq Ahmad Pandit – in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district Saturday morning.
Pandit was close to the young militant commander Burhan Wani and appeared in a group photo that the outfit released on social media sometime back. The image had gone viral on internet and was widely talked about while referring to the young and well-educated people joining militant ranks in Kashmir.
Some reports this morning claimed that Pandit had surrendered before government forces. However, Army later clarified that he was ‘apprehended’ in a ‘well-coordinated swift operation’ on Newa-Pinglana road in Pulwama. The spot is near to Pandit’s native village Kareemabad.
Army said it received a ‘specific intelligence input’ regarding movement of the militant and a joint ‘mobile vehicle check post’ was established by Army and the state police.
“The move of terrorist (sic) was kept under constant surveillance as the terrorist closed in,” a statement issued by the Army read. It said he was apprehended by a team of Rashtriya Rifles – counter insurgency group of the Indian Army.
Army also claimed to have recovered from him “one 9 mm pistol, two Chinese grenades and other war like stores.”
According to Army, Pandit was handed over to the local police station and a First Investigation Report was registered. “The terrorist (sic) was involved in many terror related incidents in Pulwama area,” Army said.