J&K: Top Hizbul Commander Riyaz Naikoo killed in Pulwama encounter

J&K: Top Hizbul Commander Riyaz Naikoo killed in Pulwama encounter

A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, on the run for eight years, was on Wednesday killed in an encounter with security forces in his home village in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

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.

Riyaz Naikoo, the operational commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, was trapped in Beighpora village in Pulwama.

Riyaz Naikoo took over as the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit’s poster boy and commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Kokarnag area in Anantnag district on July 8, 2016. Naikoo carries a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head.

Before joining the militant ranks, Naikoo worked as a mathematics teacher at a local school. He was known to have passion for painting roses before he picked up the gun at the age of 33.

 

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 Naikoo, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh. They had been looking for him for eight years.

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.

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