Hizbul Mujahideen's likely next commander Riyaz Naikoo a moderate; invited Kashmiri Pandits to return

Hizbul Mujahideen is most likely to elevate tech-savvy Riyaz Naikoo as its next commander, here's all you need to know about the militant who welcomed Kashmiri Pandits

FP Staff May 29, 2017 23:03:40 IST
Hizbul Mujahideen's likely next commander Riyaz Naikoo a moderate; invited Kashmiri Pandits to return

After Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmed Bhat was killed during an encounter in Tral, Riyaz Naikoo has emerged as the next man commanding the militant outfit in the Valley. But who is Naikoo?

Hizbul Mujahideens likely next commander Riyaz Naikoo a moderate invited Kashmiri Pandits to return

File image of Riyaz Naikoo. Image courtesy: YouTube

As Firstpost reported earlier, at 29, Naikoo is one of the oldest surviving militants in the Valley. Unlike Sabzar, who was a school drop-out, Naikoo is tech-savvy and according to police sources, the Hizbul Mujahideen may want Naikoo as the leader to use the social networking sites to galvanise support for militancy in Kashmir.

"He (Naikoo) has the ability to attract impressionable minds towards militancy through social media," a report in Times of India said.

According to the India Today,  Naikoo, who comes from Durbug in Awantipora, Pulwama district is rated as an 'A++' category terrorist, and Rs 12 lakh is being offered for information leading to his arrest. He is also said to have escaped from several traps laid for him by security forces in the past three years.

Naikoo was one of the militants who showed up at the funeral of Shariq Ahmad Bhat, a terrorist who was killed in a night-long encounter with security forces in January.

"Naikoo fired several shots in the air. This was a revival of an earlier tradition of paying tributes to slain militants in Kashmir. The video was shot and widely circulated on social media. Many believe that this tactic adopted by Riyaz Naikoo brought many youths to terrorism in the Valley," India Today reported.

"Police records state that Naikoo, after his release from detention under public safety act (PSA), got drawn into terrorism. He is wanted in several killings, including those of police officers, and was a close associate of Burhan Wani, and was seen in some photographs with him last year," the Times of India reported.

According to The Economic Times Naikoo is considered a moderate among the hardline Hizbul militants and speaks contrary to the deposed Hizbul commander Zakir Musa. "He favours a secular society in the Valley," the report said.

In fact, according to the report, Naikoo had invited Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley in an 11-minute video address.

Naikoo, alias Zubair, said, "We will welcome them (Kashmiri Pandits) warmly and there is always a place for them in our hearts. They are part of our nation. We are their protectors and not their enemies."

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

I-League 2021: Dipanda Dicka, Lalrindika Ralte help Real Kashmir beat Chennai City, register first win of season
Sports

I-League 2021: Dipanda Dicka, Lalrindika Ralte help Real Kashmir beat Chennai City, register first win of season

Although Chennai City FC dominated possession for much of the match, Real Kashmir's counter-attacking style of play earned them the win.

Sharing official secrets with journalists criminal act, says Rahul Gandhi on purported Arnab Goswami chats
India

Sharing official secrets with journalists criminal act, says Rahul Gandhi on purported Arnab Goswami chats

Gandhi was referring to allegations that the 'leaked' chats showed Goswami was reportedly privy to the Balakot air strikes beforehand

Sajad Lone's J&K People's Conference quits PAGD, accuses other members of fielding proxy candidates in DDC polls
Politics

Sajad Lone's J&K People's Conference quits PAGD, accuses other members of fielding proxy candidates in DDC polls

In a letter to PAGD head and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, Lone also blamed the proxy candidates behind the low vote share of PAGD constituent parties in the district development council (DDC) elections