Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo has been killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Beighpora village of Pulwama, South Kashmir.
The army sources confirmed to The Kashmir Walla that Hizbul Mujahideen chief was killed in the Pulwama gunfight.
Naikoo, a post-graduate, carried a reward of 12 lakh rupees on his head. After the killing Burhan Wani, the then commander-in-chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, in July 2016 — Naikoo was made the operational commander.
Earlier, Kashmir Police Zone had tweeted: “So far one unidentified terrorist killed. Operation going on.” A joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had launched a search operation in Beighpora after security agencies were a tipped-off about the presence of militants in the area.
After the gunfight ensued, mobile internet services were snapped across Kashmir, while restrictions were imposed in parts.
Naikoo was born in Beighpora village of Awantipora tehsil in district Pulwama in April 1985.
The second among a sister and three brothers, Naikoo studied at the government school in the neighbouring village of Gulzarpora. He then went on to study at the Higher Secondary School in Noorpora.
Kashmir needs independent journalism…
…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.
We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.
Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.