Terrorist Saifullah may succeed slain Riyaz Naikoo as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander in Kashmir – Defence News of India



After security forces eliminated wanted terrorist Riyaz Naikoo in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, the Pakistan-supporter terror group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is most likely to replace him with Saifullah as its new commander in Kashmir. According to intelligence sources, Saifullah, who is listed as a top terrorist in the ‘A++” category, is most likely to succeed Riyaz Naikoo to fill the void in the group. A medical assistant in the past, he made a name for himself treating terrorists wounded in encounters with the security forces, according to intelligence sources.

He is said to be active in South Kashmir and is involved in recruiting Kashmiri youths for jihad. Saifullah”, who is a resident of Malangpora in Pulwama, was part of the Burhan Wani group of 12 terrorists.
Saifullah began as a guide for terrorists in Pulwama, Tral, Kakapora and Kulgam areas. He has been active in Srinagar city as well, intelligence sources said.

Riyaz Naikoo, a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, was killed on Wednesday (May 6) by security forces in a village in Kashmir’s Pulwama district. On the run for eight years, Naikoo was actively involved in brainwashing and recruitment of young boys in South Kashmir to join the terror outfit.

Security forces had launched a massive operation to trap him in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama. The encounter, which started late on Tuesday night went on till Wednesday afternoon.

Riyaz Naikoo reportedly came to his native home in Pulwama’s Beighpora village when the security forces including the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the local police, sealed all entry and exit points of the village.

With Naikoo, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head, two other terrorists were killed in a separate encounter in Sharshali Khrew area of Awantipora where the encounter began late on Tuesday night.