Riyaz Naikoo’s encounter ends Burhan Wani group; list of top Kashmiri terrorists killed – Defence News of India

Riyaz Naikoo’s encounter ends Burhan Wani group; list of top Kashmiri terrorists killed – Indian Defence Research Wing


With the elimination of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Riyaz Naikoo on May 6 by security forces, the Pakistan-based terror sponsors have suffered a major jolt in destabilising peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Naikoo became the de facto commander of terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen after Burhan Wani, the poster boy of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, was eliminated in July 2016. Rated as an A++ category terrorist or the most-wanted, Naikoo carried a bounty of Rs 12 lakh on his head.

The encounter of Burhan Wani had in mid-2016 sparked a massive uproar in the Valley and the ripple effects were felt as far as Islamabad. Locals look out a funeral procession for Wani following by massive violence in the Valley.

Riyaz Naikoo, who had been on the run for over eight years, was counted as one from the Burhan Wani group of Kashmiri terrorists. The group comprised Burhan Wani and his associates Sabzar Bhat, Waseem Malla, Naseer Pandit, Ishfaq Hameed, Tariq Pandit, Afaqullah, Adil Khandey, Saddam Paddar, Wasim Shah and Anees.

All these locals became poster boys of militancy in Kashmir and they even pushed foreign terrorists to the background. The ‘Burhan gang’ sold terrorism to the educated and unemployed youth of the Valley and recruited them in large numbers.

A brief detail of the Burhan Wani-led group of Kashmiri terrorists and how they were killed by the Indian Army, Central Reserve Police Force and Jammu and Kashmir Police is given below:

1. Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on July 8, 2016. The encounter followed pinpointed information about the presence of three highly-trained terrorists in Bundoora village at Kokernag in South Kashmir. Police parties swung into action and laid an outer cordon along with Army and moved into the village after sealing every exit point.

2. Abu Dujana was most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba commander. He was killed with another terrorist in an encounter at Hakripora village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir in July 2018. A joint search operation was launched by 182 Battalion, 183 Battalion, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), and J&K Police Special Operations Group (SOG) in Hakripora on specific intelligence input. Dujana and his accomplice Arif were trapped inside a house and security personnel eliminated them.

3. Junaid Ahmad Mattu, top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and his accomplice Muzamil were killed in an encounter with security forces in Arwani village of Bijbihara in Anantnag district of south Kashmir in June 2017. Mattoo was trapped for more than eight hours with two other local Lashkar terrorists. A joint team of Army, J&K police and CRPF cordoned off Arwani village on specific input about the presence of Lashkar terrorists in the area and then eliminated them.

4. Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was killed with another terrorist in an encounter with security forces in Tral area of Kashmir’s Pulwama district in May 2017. The security forces had zeroed in on a house in Saimoo village of Tral town and trapped Bhat and two of his associates and the encounter lasted several hours.

5. Saddam Padder was killed in an encounter in the Shopian district of south Kashmir in May 2018. The encounter in Badigam village of Zainpora in the Shopian district was launched jointly by 44, 34, 3 Rashtriya Rifles of Army, CRPF battalions, J&K Police SOG.

6. Wasim Shah along with his bodyguard Nisar Ahmed Mir was killed in a gun battle with security forces in Pulwama on October 14, 2017. The encounter began as the terrorists holed up in a house opened fire on security forces after the village was cordoned off. Shah and his bodyguard made an attempt to flee but were eliminated.

7. Adil Khanday, a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, along with his associate was killed in a gunfight with security forces in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on October 22, 2015. The encounter broke out at around 4.30 pm when a joint team of J&K police and Rashtriya Rifles started a search operation after getting specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area.

8. Tariq Pandit was caught in Pulwama on May 28, 2016. Based on specific intelligence input regarding the movement of a Hizbul Mujahideen member near Karimabad, a joint mobile vehicle check post was established by the Army and J&K police. His movement was kept under constant surveillance and a Rashtriya Rifles battalion apprehended Tariq.

9. Naseer Pandit was killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian on April 7, 2016.