Top Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Riyaz Naikoo was killed in a major operation by security forces on Wednesday.
In 2016 when Burhan Wani, a young militant commander got killed, Naikoo became the face of militancy in Kashmir.
Naikoo was killed by special forces in his village. Naikoo was trapped along with another militant told a senior police officer. He further told that Naikoo was cornered in the village, surrounded by paddy fields and apple orchards. The official told the killing of Naikoo as a major success since he was on run for 8 years.
On late Tuesday night, this operation was launched by a collective team of the J&K police, army, and CRPF.
Who Was Riyaz Naikoo?
In 2010, a teenager Tufail Ahamad Mattoo of Srinagar, who died because policemen had fired teargas shell on him to quell protests triggered unrest, scores of youth were arrested from across Kashmir. Naikoo was one among them.
He was accused and was booked under the Public Safety Act. In 2012, he walked out of jail and after that, he spent his few months at his home. Later he informed his parents that he has been planning to apply for higher studies outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Naikoo left home on May 23 that year. He went to meet his friends and when he did not return home for some days, his family started searching for him. His family stopped searching for him when the police informed that about his joining in the militancy.
His friends and his village people used to call him ‘master’. By profession, his father is a tailor who also owns a field of an apple orchard in the village.
Security forces had raided many times at Naikoo’s residency looking for him and purportedly harassing his family after J&K police had listed Naikoo as one of the most wanted militants in Kashmir.
Mir in an interview held recently said that Naikoo was a good student. He added that Naikoo was “traumatized” to see his friends being “hauled off to torture centers”.
Mir also said that Naikoo was good with maths but somehow he ended up with guns in his hands and that he had only seen Naikoo on the internet since he had disappeared. He further said that Naikoo wanted to be an engineer.