May 2020 News

Four Terrorists, Including Top Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, Killed

6 May 2020
The New Indian Express

Srinagar: A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander and another terrroist were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said. The Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo, who has been on the run for eight years and carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh, was killed in his home viilage on Wednesday. The identity of the second dead terrorist is yet to be ascertained. In a simultaneous gunbattle in another village in the district, two unidentified militants were killed, officials said. The Jammu and Kashmir authorities have already snapped mobile internet services across the valley as a precautionary measure, in anticipation of a possible a law and order problem, police said, adding that there are strict restrictions on the movement of people. A police spokesperson said earlier in the morning that a top terrorist commander along with an accomplice was trapped in an encounter but did not reveal his identity. Later in the day, officials disclosed that the man in their sights was Riyaz Naikoo, operational commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, and he was trapped in Beighpora village in Pulwama. Naikoo became the de facto chief of the terror group after the death of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of militancy in the Valley, in July 2016. Naikoo had managed to escape the police dragnet thrice in Shopian in south Kashmir. Declining to give details, officials only said they had launched a plan to nab Naikoo after establishing his presence in the village and wanted to ensure he did not escape this time. They said details would be shared after the encounter was over. In Sharshali village, two militants who are yet to be identified were gunned down in an encounter with security forces. Acting on a tip-off about the presence of militants in the village, security forces launched a cordon and search operation. It turned into an encounter after militants opened fire towards security forces' positions, officials said. In the retaliatory firing, two militants were killed, they said.