On specific inputs, two cordon and search operations were launched by J&K Police and SF at Sarshali and Beigpora in Awantipora.

Riyaz Naikoo
Riyaz Naikoo

These cordon and search operations led to encounters as the hiding terrorists fired upon the operation parties.

During these encounters, four terrorists were neutralized.

In Sharshali encounter, 2 terrorists of LeT were killed. The identification of killed terrorists is being ascertained. Incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.

In the second operation in Beigpora village of Awantipur district, a top terrorist commander was trapped along with his associate. The operation was launched last evening and contact was established with hiding terrorists in the morning today.

In this encounter, two terrorists were killed. One of the terrorists has been identified as Riyaz Naikoo.

He was the Chief operational Commander of (HM) outfit in Kashmir.

He joined Militant ranks of HM outfit in May 2012 and was a close associate of Burhan Wani. After Zakir Musa's defection from HM to form his own Outfit called Ansar Gazwat ul Hind, he took command of HM outfit in Jammu Kashmir. Pertinent to mention that Zakir Musa was eliminated in operation last year.

Naikoo had been continuously making audio and video clips and putting up on social media to motivate youth to join militancy and went on recruiting new boys. He was responsible for a large number of innocent youths getting into militant ranks and indulging in serious violence against local population and SF.

He was a mastermind behind the revival of HM outfit in Jammu and Kashmir. He also released videos/audios on a number of occasions carrying Pro-Pakistan and separatist propaganda.

He executed a series of attacks on policemen, SF and civilians. He resorted to brutal killings of civilians branding them as police/SF informers.

He looted orchard owners and farmers to collect funds for his outfit. He also has been collecting booty from illicit cultivation of opium and bhang in South Kashmir. His outfit also figured in narco trade case in jammu where a huge sum of sale proceeds was transferred to one of his contacts. Some of the Killings/ violence where he was directly involved were –

1) killing of Haji Ghulam Mohd Dar Father Of a Sarpanch At Dogripora 0n 8-3-2014
2) Firing On Police Bus Near Bhatpora Tokena
3) killing of Gh Mohi-Ud-din Dar
4) killing of Javaid Akbar Khanday R/o Khandaypora
5) killing of a Police HC Ashiq Hussain Mir at Padgampoara crossing.
6) kidnapping of constable Naseer Ahmad 7) looting of 09 weapons from the residence of ex MLA Wachi.
8) killing of six migrant labour in kulgam
9) killing of truck drivers and fruit traders post Aug 5.
10) Release of an audio tape threatening attacks on the Jail staff after preferential treatment being provided to militants and the separatists lodged in various jails was discontinued.

Apart from the above, he was involved in many other cases of a heinous crime for which a big number of FIRs were registered against him.