Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo killed in encounter in Kashmir1 min read . Updated: 06 May 2020, 03:14 PM IST
- Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo was killed in an encounter in South Kashmir today
- Riyaz Naikoo took over as the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit’s poster boy Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight
In a huge victory for the security forces, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir's Pulwama district today. Officials have confirmed the development, as per news agency PTI.
Riyaz Naikoo, operational commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, was trapped in Beighpora village in Pulwama, the officials said.
Riyaz Naikoo took over as the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit’s poster boy Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Kokarnag area in Anantnag district on 8 July 2016.
Naikoo had released a video in 2017, saying he would welcome the return of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley and claimed that terrorists were not enemies of the Pandits.
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.
Security forces hold Naikoo responsible for holding the Hizbul together after its possible disintegration when Zakir Musa broke away from the Hizbul ranks to form his own splinter group.
-With agency inputs