Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Chief Dr Saifullah Mir has been killed, while as 01 militant associate was arrested in a gunfight at Rangreth area of Central Kashmir’s Srinagar district.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that Chief commander of Hizb has been killed while as one militant associate has been apprehended alive in an encounter.
“I am 95 per cent sure that the militant killed in the gunfight is Hizb chief operational commander Dr Saifullah who had taken over the reins of Hizb after the killing of its chief Reyaz Naikoo in an encounter in May this year,” the IGP said.
“The encounter is almost over. We are sanitizing the area and clearing it as there may be some leftover grenades etc,” he said. Asked how big an achievement is the killing of Dr Saifullah for the security forces, he said: “It’s a big success as he was the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. He had taken over the control of the outfit after the killing of Reyaz Naikoo. So it’s really a very big achievement.
IGP Kashmir further said that a suspect has been arrested at the encounter site who is being questioned.
Dr. Saifullah took over as Hizb Chief after killing of Reyaz Naikoo this year in May.
Earlier, Reports were that a joint team of Police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Rangreth.
As the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the forces, triggering off an gunfight.
In 2014, Dr Saifullah Mir joined the militancy. This year in May he was appointed as the new Hizbul chief after the dead of top militant commender Reyaz Naikoo by the security forces in an encounter at his native village Beighpora in Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
Who was Saifullah Mir?
Saifullah Mir, who was also known as Musaib and ‘Doctor Saif’ because he treated militants injured in police encounters. Saifullah Mir opted for vocational training after school.
Once he was through with the bio medical course at the government-run ITI in Pulwama, Saifullah got himself a job at Srinagar’s National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology as a technician.
Saifullah had been classified as an ‘A category’ terrorist and had mostly been active in south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian. He was also said to be completely familiar with Riyaz Naikoo’s network and activities to raise funds by looting orchard owners and get cuts from illicit cultivation of opium in south Kashmir.