New Delhi: Days after Hizbul Mujahideen’s de facto chief Riyaz Naikoo was killed in a joint operation, a video has emerged wherein US State Department designated Global terrorist Syed Salahuddin can be seen holding a condolence meet for one of Kashmir’s most wanted terrorists. Also Read - Pakistani Man Arrested For Attacking Sikh Shrine in England
In the 2-minute long video Salahuddin claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Handwara that killed 5 Army jawans and 1 J&K cop. Also Read - Local Residents Capture Trained 'Spy' Pigeon From Pakistan Along International Border in Kathua
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Earlier on Wednesday, Naikoo was gunned down by security forces in his village in Pulwama district, prompting authorities to suspend mobile phones and mobile internet across the Valley.
The 35-year-old maths teacher-turned-terrorist, with a Rs 12 lakh bounty on his head, had successfully escaped the dragnet for eight years. But his luck finally ran out when he was shot dead after a five-hour gunbattle in restive Pulwama’s Beighbpora village, about 40 km from Srinagar.
A day after the Punjab Police traced the inter-state links of Naikoo with the arrest of two accomplices of his close associate, Hilal Ahmed Wagay, from Amritsar.
Riyaz Naikoo took over as the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit’s poster boy and commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Kokarnag area in Anantnag district on July 8, 2016.
He had been masterminding the killings of local policemen to put pressure on them not to engage in anti-militancy operations.
It was because of this threat perception that policemen were advised not to visit their homes especially in South Kashmir districts where Naikoo held sway among the militant ranks.