Hizbul’s ‘Most Wanted’ Commander Riyaz Naikoo dead   

Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander, Riyaz Naikoo, who led the attacks on Kashmir’s police force and the Indian soldiers, who plotted their abduction and murdered them, has been killed in an encounter. This encounter is considered a great achievement for the Indian Armed Forces. Besides, this action has jarred the terrorist organisation.    

Over the last three to four days, Kashmir has seen some of the biggest combats. Two of the skirmishes that happened in Handwara witnessed the martyrdom of eight of our Indian Army soldiers, including officials of the ranks of Colonel and Major. Following this, the Indian Armed Forces have boosted the nature of their campaign. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces sought information that Hizbul Commander Naikoo was residing somewhere in Pulwama’s Avantipora city. On Tuesday, at 11 p.m., the Armed Forces initiated the search campaign and pulled the trigger against the enemy at midnight.   

Earlier, Naikoo had successfully escaped from such an encounter twice. However, this time, he was given no chance to run away and was killed alongside his terrorist accomplices. But, Naikoo getting killed in this encounter is a major threat for Hizbul and other terrorist outfits in Kashmir. In 2016, after Hizbul’s commander, Burhan Wani, got killed in Kashmir, Zakir Musa succeeded the position. However, Musa quit Hizbul in 2016, developed connections with the Al Qaeda and founded another group known as Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. Then Naikoo assumed the responsibility of being the commander of Hizbul in Kashmir.    

Over the last three months, the Indian Armed Forces were looking out for Naikoo. Although Hizbul was losing its operational grip in Kashmir, Naikoo fled and continued to carry out terrorist attacks. Naikoo had initiated a spree of abducting and mercilessly killing the Indian soldiers and the CRPF Jawans. He also started a series of carrying out grenade attacks, after which he would flee. Besides, he also accepted a new policy of threatening through recorded audio to terrorise the region.  

Moreover, Naikoo is also accused of using advance technology to enlist several youths in his terrorist outfits. In August 2018’s terrorist attack, 4 CRPF personnel were martyred. Following that, the Kashmir police arrested 19 people, including Naikoo’s father concerning that attack. But, Naikoo abducted 11 police families in the next two days to get those people bailed. Later, he released those families after the police granted bail to those 11 people. Since then, the security forces had been looking out for Naikoo.   

Over the last few months, there were frequent skirmishes ongoing between Lashkar-e-Taiba’s The Surgent Front (TRF) and Hizbul to establish dominion. In the meanwhile, one of the Hizbul commanders joined TRF. This upset Naikoo. Besides, he also criticised Hizbul chief Syed Salahudeen for not commenting on the revocation of Kashmir’s special status. Naikoo was also upset with Salahudeen, as their organisation was unable to obtain any aid from across the border. The killing of Naikoo, who became the face of Hizbul after the death of Burhan Wani, is truly the greatest achievement for our defence forces.    

In the meanwhile, on Wednesday, another terrorist was slain in an encounter. Furthermore, the Security Forces arrested another terrorist affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed, who was loaded with arms. The Security Forces also destroyed a terrorist base for that and seized a massive arsenal. Last month, the CRPF killed 28 terrorists in all in various encounter campaigns that were carried out. It is the first time that so many terrorists were killed in Kashmir after the revocation of Article 370. The Indian defence forces can thus, for the first time, be seen boosting their campaigns against the terrorist outfits at the borders in the north and the south of Kashmir.  

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