In a major success for India, security forces have eliminated Hizbul Mujahideen’s top leader and Jammu and Kashmir commander Riyaz Naikoo. He was active in the Valley for almost eight years. Top officials involved in the operation claim that after eliminating Naikoo, south Kashmir is almost free from terrorism. Naikoo was eliminated in the hours-long operation carried out by Indian Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police in Beighpora area in Pulwama. At least two more terrorists were also killed by security forces in the encounter in Sharshali Khrew area of Awantipora.
The operation started late night on Tuesday after the forces got a tip-off about Naikoo hiding in the area. The security forces kept a larger base of “target” so that he couldn’t escape.
When the operation was about to end, Jammu and Kashmir Police asked all forces to stop convoy movements with immediate effect. The police said that all vehicles should be restricted across the Valley, adding that the movement of isolated vehicles should be avoided.
Cops also advised that the movement of Army and CRPF vehicles should not be allowed in the interiors, inter-district and intra-district. Naikoo had 12 lakh rupees bounty on his head and was in the hit list of security forces. He was the brain behind major terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir and was a high-value target for Indian forces after he took charge of Hizbul Mujahideen.
“Contact established in the third operation at Beighpor in Awantipur. Top terrorist commander is trapped. Exchange of fire on. Details shall follow,” Jammu and Kashmir Police had tweeted when operations were going on.
According to sources, Riyaz Naikoo was also involved in killings of jawans and planned attack on security forces and was the successor of Zakir Musa, who was eliminated by security forces in May last year.
“He planned massive activities in Kashmir during Ramzan so that he can raise more terrorists from local villages. In a conversation, which was recorded by security forces, a terrorist had said that Naikoo will be doing some operations directly, which became first tip-off of his location,” a senior intelligence officer told ANI.
Naikoo, a teacher by profession during his old days, was also famous for doing things on the ground as well as off ground. According to a senior police officer of the Union Territory, Naikoo also planned anti-India campaigns after abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. “He used youths in spreading lies on social media to disturb law and order situation in the valley,” the source said.
Naikoo also started a campaign to promote terrorists killed in operations. He tried to make commander Zakir Musa famous in South Kashmir and started gun salutes to terrorists killed by security forces. Forces are claiming that after his death, Hizbul has no face or leader left in Jammu and Kashmir and it is unlikely to get a commander due to fraction after a new terror outfit, called The Resistance Front (TRF), was launched by Pakistan.