According to a senior security official, Riyaz Naikoo has been killed along with two associates. He, regarded as the Hizbul Mujahideen’s top terrorist, was assassinated by a joint team of security forces in Kashmir’s Pulwama District on Wednesday.
He was leading the banned Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir Valley and was trapped in the police operation in the Beighbora village of Pulwama District. The operation was being supervised by Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police.
The US declared a Pakistan-based Hizbul-Chief, Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist in 2017. Naikoo is close to him, according to records.
As such, the elimination of Naikoo is a big success, said a senior official.
The terror group, initially led by its Kashmir Commander Burhan Wani, was taken over by Naikoo after the former died in a gunshot in July 2016.
Naikoo used to give private school tuitions to school-going children, according to reports, before he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. After the group’s Zakir Musa had split the outfit to form his group Ansar Ghazwatul Hind in 2017, Naikoo had efficiently managed in holding the terror groups hold in the Valley.
The Zakir Musa’s was claimed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda; however, he died in an encounter in Tral in last year’s May. Thus, he couldn’t lead the new outfit for long.
Contradictorily, Naikoo had been lucky enough, concerning other terrorists. The average career span of terrorists in Kashmir very rarely exceeds 4 years; while Naikoo lived for eight long years.
Quite a few operations had been carried out for trapping him, but it seemed like he easily escaped each time. This time, however, the Police Chief Dilbag Singh quickly called for an operation, as soon as they received information about the presence of most-wanted terrorist.