Hizbul Mujahideen’s new operations commander Saifullah was killed on Sunday in a gunfight with security forces in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, the police said, the Hindustan Times reported. Saifullah had taken over as chief of the organisation after Riyaz Naikoo, one of Kashmir’s longest surviving militants, was killed in May.
One militant associated with Saifullah was also apprehended during the gunfight, the police said.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Vijay Kumar, said that they had received inputs that some militants, who had come from south Kashmir, were hiding in the area in Rangreth. “A joint operation was launched by Police, Central Reserve of Police Force and later [the Indian] Army also joined,” he said.
“Our sources have told us that the militant killed in the operation is Hizbul Mujahideen chief commander, Dr Saifullah,” Kumar added. He said that the police was now waiting for the family members of the Hizbul chief to identify his body.
Kumar added that the police was “95% certain” that the deceased militant was the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, according to ANI. “One suspect was also arrested,” he added. “It’s a great achievement of our security forces.”
The Jammu and Kashmir Police, meanwhile, said that incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, was recovered from the site of the gunfight.