Army ar­rests top aide of Burhan Wani in J& K

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Dna cor­re­spon­dent Amita Shah amita. shah@ dnain­dia. net

Sri­na­gar: Army dealt a ma­jor blow to Hizbul Mu­jahideen on Satur­day when they ar­rested its top cadre Tariq Ah­mad Pandit, a close aide of the most- wanted ter­ror­ist Burhan Muzaf­far Wani, in a well- co­or­di­nated op­er­a­tion on Newa- Pinglana road in Pul­wama. Colonel NN Joshi, de­fence spokesman at Sri­na­gar, said based on spe­cific in­tel­li­gence in­puts re­gard­ing the move of a HM ter­ror­ist on the Neva- Pinglana road near Karimabad, Pul­wama a joint mo­bile ve­hi­cle check- post was es­tab­lished by army and po­lice in the morn­ing hours of May 28.

“The move­ment of the ter­ror­ist was kept un­der con­stant sur- New Delhi: An 87- year- old monk is on a jour­ney through the Bodh vi­ha­ras of UP ttar Pradesh with a mes­sage for the Dalit fol­low­ers of Bud­dhism to sup­port Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

Dhamma Viriyo, the Akhil Bharatiya Sangha Nayak of the Bharatiya Bhikku Maha Sangha, is telling the peo­ple that while BSP supremo Mayawati re­fused to give him time, Modi went out of his way to hon­our him at Mhow, the birth place of Dalit icon BR Ambed­kar. Trav­el­ing in a bus, which has Modi's images on it, Viriyo is his de­voted emis­sary de­scrib­ing the Prime Min­is­ter as the mes­siah of the poor.

Ac­com­pa­nied by around 50 Bhikkus ( Buddhist monas­tics), he holds be­tween ten to 60 meet­ings in a dis­trict, reach­ing out to nearly 5,0007,000 peo­ple each day. At the BJP head­quar­ters, de­tailed re­ports of the Dhamma Chetna Ya­tra are re­ceived on a daily ba­sis. BJP lead­ers deny the party's in­volve­ment in the pro­gramme, be­ing held un­der the ban­ner of the Akhil Bhikku Sangha. How­ever, eight meet­ings were held be­tween party lead­ers and Viriyo be­fore the ya­tra was flagged off in April at Varanasi, Modi's Lok Sabha con­stituency, by home min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh, ac­cord­ing to sources.

"BJP work­ers wel­come any­one who is work­ing for manav kalyan ( well­be­ing of peo­ple). We have a lot of re­spect for Dr Viriyo," said BJP gen­eral sec­re­tary Arun Singh.

Dur­ing his ya­tra, which ends in Oc­to­ber, Viriyo is likely to cross around 1,400- 1,500 Bodh Vi­ha­ras, which fall in the midst of Dalit- dom­i­nated ar­eas. Ac­cord­ing to sources, there are nearly 40- 50 lakh fol­low­ers of Bud­dhism, most of whom are Dal­its and some are OBCs like Mau­ryas, in the state. The ya­tra is ex­pected to cover Pur­van­chal, the OBC- dom­i­nat- veil­lance. As the ter­ror­ist closed in, he was ap­pre­hended by the team of Rashtriya Ri­fle bat­tal­ion, along with one 9mm pis­tol, two Chi­nese gre - nades and other weapons. He was in­volved in many ter­ror- re­lated in­ci­dents in Pul­wama,” he said.

The 21- year- old Pandit was of­ten seen pho­tographed in army ed po­lit­i­cally cru­cial re­gion in UP.

The BJP is try­ing to wean away the Dalit vote from Mayawati and tar­get­ing the non- Ya­dav OBC vote in UP. Sev­eral Dal­its and other back­ward caste peo­ple have adopted Bud­dhism, free­ing them­selves from the clutches of caste- based dis­crim­i­na­tion like un­touch­a­bil­ity. Dalit icons like Ambed­kar and Kan­shi Ram, Mayawati's men­tor, have shown the way. While Ambed­kar con­verted to Bud­dhism, Kan­shi Ram died just a week be­fore he was to con­vert to the re­li­gion.

Ra­j­nath Singh while flag­ging off the ya­tra, promised a statue of Bud­dha taller than the ones in Bamiyan in Afghanistan if BJP came to power in UP. Modi has in­voked Bud­dhism in for­eign pol­icy, par­tic­u­larly in East Asia, and in­di­cated his re­gard for it as a re­li­gion prop­a­gat­ing peace. He is likely to be present when the ya­tra ends in Oc­to­ber, sources said. uni­forms posted by mil­i­tants on the face­book and other so­cial net­work sites. Hail­ing from Karimabad vil­lage, Tariq Ahmed Pa n d i t h a d joined mil­i­tants group led by Burhan on March 28 2015. Hold­ing a BA de­gree, Pandit was work­ing as driver be­fore join­ing the mil­i­tant ranks.

He was part of the group led by 22- year- old tech- savvy com­man­der Burhan who likes to be pho­tographed and reaches to youth through so­cial net­work­ing sites. Hail­ing from Tral, nick­named Kan­da­har ow­ing to the huge mil­i­tant in­fes­ta­tion, Burhan has emerged as one of the most wanted mil­i­tant com­man­ders in south Kash­mir. How­ever for the last few months se­cu­rity forces have elim­i­nated most of the cadres of Burhan group leav­ing the com­man­der with few of his men.

Pandit was one of the sur­viv­ing aides of Burhan. Ear­lier the re­ports mak­ing rounds were that Pandit had sur­ren­dered be­fore the army. How­ever, the army clar­i­fied that he was ar­rested by them in a raid.

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