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Amit Shah identifies Kashmir’s top 10 militants; Hizbul’s Naikoo tops in list

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Wahid Bhat | Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Home Ministry, under minister of Amit Shah, has identified the top 10 militant active in Jammu and Kashmir, which includes Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo, Lashkar-e-Taiba district commander Wasim Ahmed alias Osama and Hizbul’s Ashraf Maulvi.

The list has been prepared with inputs from security agencies and is an attempt to further tighten the noose around terrorists active in the Valley, especially ahead of the Amarnath Yatra.

Security agencies have already killed more than 100 militants In past 5 months, which averages to 20 militants per month. As per officials, out of the 101 militants, 23 were foreigners and 78 local. They include top commanders such as Zakir Musa, the chief of so-called Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda.

According to army reports, 50 youths have joined various militant outfits since March and the security establishment needs to find a better way to cut off the supply chain and can even consider educating families on radicalisation of the youth. This fresh top 10 list includes the militant from Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar, Jaish and Al-Badr.

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Top 10 targets and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo is at the top of the list. He is from Bandipora and falls in A++ category.

Militants are listed under different categories – from A++ (being the highest) to A+, A and B. An A++ category terrorist is first on the hit list of security forces.

Riyaz Naikoo is followed by Wasim Ahmed alias Osama from Lashkar camp. Wasim Ahmad is district commander of Sophian, agencies said.

Mohamammad Ashraf Khan alias Ashraf Maulawi is at No 3 on the list. He is allegedly active in Anantnag and associated with Hizbul Mujahideen.

Next in the list is Mehrazuddin. Believed to be from Hizb camp, he is reportedly active in Baramulla and is area district commander.

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At number 5, the ministry has listed Srinagar-resident Dr Saifulla alias Saifulla Mir alias Dr Saif. He is suspected of being associated with Hizb group and helping in recruitment of terrorists in the area.

Another Hizb cadre Arshaid-ul-Haq is at number 6 from Pulwama. Haq belongs to A++ category. He is reportedly district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Pulwama.

Pakistani Militant Hafiz Omar is at No 7. Agencies say he sneaked into Indian side after taking training in Balakot training camp. Currently, he is Jaish chief operational commander, they said.

Another JeM Militant Zahid Sheikh, also known as Omar Afghani, is at number 8. He is said to have had an experience to fight against NATO forces in Afghanistan. He sneaked into the Valley after taking Taliban training, security agencies said.

Al-Badr top cadre Javed Mattoo, also know as Faisal/Saqib/Musaib, is on the ninth spot on the list. He is said to be active in north Kashmir and is reportedly active as divisional commander in the area.

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Another Hizb Militant Ezaz Ahmed Malik is also in the target list. As per agencies, he is active in Kupwara and is operating as district commander in the area.

The Home Minister was apprised of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in border areas by the Jammu and Kashmir Affairs division which deals with counter-terrorism, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and coordination between ministries, including external affairs and defence.

General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-In-C), Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh had recently said that 100 militant have been killed this year in the state in terror activities.

However, Lt Gen Singh said that Pakistan is continuing with its anti-India activities along the Line of Control (LoC) by trying to infiltrate militants into the Valley.