Last of Burhan Wani’s boys killed, marking end of the 11 who posed in photo that went viral
All except one militant who appeared with Burhan Wani, an iconic militant commander, in a famous photo that viral on internet a few years back and gave traction to militancy in Kashmir, are dead.
Saddam Paddar was the last of the 11 militants to be killed in an encounter on Sunday in Shopian while the lone survivor of the “Burhan’s boys” group, Tariq Pandit surrendered in 2016.
The photograph that became viral in June 2015 marked a new age for militancy in the region as young militants posed boldly without masks in front of the camera and posted pictures online, in contrast to earlier times when they remained hidden and did not reveal much.
Here is the list of the militants who appeared in the famous photograph.
Burhan Wani (22): The poster boy of new age militancy in Kashmir, Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, was killed along with two other associates on July 8, 2016 in south Kashmir’s Kokernag in Anantnag district. His death plunged the whole valley into crisis for months as thousands of locals took to the streets and clashed with security forces, leading to the death of more than 100 persons.
Saddam Hussain Paddar (in his 20s) He hailed from Shopian district and had been active since September 2014. A school dropout, he was a category A plus militant and district commander of Hizbul, with more than Rs 10 lakh bounty on his head.
Adil Khanday (20): Hizb militant, Khanday and another associate were killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on October 22, 2015. His death triggered massive clashes and protests near the encounter site and in their native villages in Shopian.
Naseer Pandit (29) and Waseem Malla (27): Both were top Hizbul militants and were killed in an encounter with forces in Shopian on April 7, 2016. Pandit was in the security detail of a PDP minister and had fled with two AK 47 rifles. Malla was an A++ category militant.
Afaq Bhat (25): Son of a policeman, Afaq, along with an associate, was killed in an encounter at Drabgam, Pulwama on October 26, 2015.
Sabzar Bhat (26): Bhat was the successor of Burhan Wani and was killed in an encounter on May 27, 2017 in south Kashmir’s Tral area of Pulwama. He was an A category militant. Bhat was among a group of young, tech-savvy militants who used social media to woo the youth to their cause.
Anees (26): Not much is known but police sources say he has also been killed.
Ishfaq (23): Ishfaq was killed along with two other associates in an encounter in Pulwama on May 7, 2016. A category A militant, he was involved in social media campaign to attract youth.
Wasim Shah (24): Shah was the only HM militant in the group photo who joined LeT later and became a commander of the outfit. Shah, along with an associate, was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Pulwama on October 14, 2017.
Tariq Pandit (25): A top Hizbul Mujahideen militants and close associate of Burhan Wani, Tariq Pandit was arrested after he surrendered to police in Pulwama on May 28, 2016. He was a category A militant.