Ground Report | News Desk
After Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen has appointed Saifullah Mir, aka Ghazi Haider as the new leader of the militant outfit in the Valley. The 26-year-old, who hails from Malangpora in Pulwama area of Jammu and Kashmir.
After Riyaz Naikoo was killed, Hizbul militants organized a condolence meeting in Pakistan. During this, it was announced to make Ghazi Hyder the new commander.
According to srinagar based news agency KNS, a command council meet was held under the chair of UJC Chairman and Hizb Supremo Syed Salah-ud-din wherein great tributes were paid to slain militant commanders who recently were killed in Beighpora village of Pulwama district.
“During the meet, Gazi Haider was appointed as Operational Chief Commander for J&K, Zaffar-ul-Islam as Deputy while Abu Tariq as Chief Military Advisor”, statement said.
It added that UJC Chief paid rich tributes to former slain militant commander and his associate Mohammad Bin Qasim and Mohammad Adil and hoped that ‘martyrs’ blood will surely benefit the freedom movement.
At the occasion, “peoples determination towards freedom movement was also hailed and participants of the meet avowed that freedom struggle will remain continue till its logical conclusion and nobody will be allowed to exploit the sacred blood of martyrs”, statement said.
Naikoo alias Mohammad Bin Qasim had taken over Hizb command in Kashmir after his predecessor Yasin Yatoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi was killed in August 2017.
Hailing from Awantipora area, 35-year-old Naikoo was a mathematics school teacher before joining militancy in 2012. Naikoo’s body was not handed over this family but buried silently in a graveyard in central Kashmir’s Sonamarg by authorities in presence of magistrate and few family members.
The UJC chief, as per the statement, called Naikoo and his associates
martyrs and hoped that their “blood will surely benefit their separatist movement in Kashmir.” Hizbul Mujahideen has been seeking Jammu & Kashmir`s secession from India and merger with Pakistan.
Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, who had previously served as the 15 Corps Commander in Srinagar which is responsible for all counter-terrorist and counter-infiltration operations across the Kashmir Valley, tweeted, “Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye.”
Lt Gen Dhillon was the Commander of 15 Corps in Srinagar when the tragic Pulwama suicide bombing attack took place which had led to the demise of over forty jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). He is known to have played a vital role in the conduction of many successful operations by the security forces which led to killing on several terrorist leaders.
Who is Saifullah Mir?
Saifullah Mir, who is also known as Musaib and ‘Doctor Saif’ because he treated militants injured in police encounters, is a class 12 pass out from Malangpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. 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, according to reports.
He held onto the job for three years before Riyaz Naikoo finally had his way and motivated him to join militancy.
Saifullah had been classified as an ‘A category’ terrorist and had mostly been active in south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian. He is 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.