SRI NAGAR: After killing top commanders of militant outfits operating in Kashmir, the security forces are now focusing their efforts to track and kill Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo.
Following the January 11 arrest of Hizb deputy chief Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Davender Singh and two other militants by police, security forces have now killed the militant commander, who was given charge of Hizb operations in Valley.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said after Babu’s arrest, a local militant Waseem Wani was given the charge of the terror outfit in the Valley.“If we are able to kill Riyaz Naikoo, Hizb would almost be wiped out from South Kashmir,” Kumar said.
However, Waseem alongwith two other Hizb militants was killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district.
Among the slain militants was Adi Bashir Sheikh, a policeman-turned-militant and who had fled away with seven AK rifles and a pistol from then MLA’s residence in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar in 2018.
Meanwhile, top commander of Hizb Hamaad Khan was also killed in another gunfight in south Kashmir.
The region comprising four districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag has emerged as a terrorist stronghold since Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8, 2016.
Despite suffering casualties at the hands of security forces, atleast 125 militants, according to IGP Kashmir, were still active in south Kashmir.
No phone for NAIKOO
Naikoo, according to sources, has managed to give the slip to security forces several times in the past. He does not use mobile phones or any other telephonic communication and prefers couriers to send his messages.
Hence, he has managed to give police a miss all this while.