New Delhi: One of the most wanted Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo was on Wednesday morning cornered in his native village near Jammu and Kashmir’s Beighpora during an encounter that was launched between the terrorists and police forces. He has been eliminated by security forces in Awantipora district where an encounter took place this morning. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: 3 Jaish Terrorists, Including Bomb Expert, Killed in Pulwama Encounter

A prize money of Rs 12 lakh will be given to the those who helped in trapping the dreaded terrorist. Moreover, the mission to eliminate him will also be a big blow to the local terror groups inhabited in the Kashmir Valley. Also Read - With Article 370 Gone, Army Now Wants to Buy Land in J&K to Set up Camp

Notably, an overnight cordon and search operation was launched after the J&K Police were tipped off about his presence in Beighpora area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir. The police trapped the terror commander in the targetted area this morning and an encounter has been going on since then. Also Read - Day After Forces Foiled Pulwama-Style Attack, Cops Identify Owner of Explosives-Laden Car

Why is Riyaz Naikoo the most-wanted terrorist?

1. Naikoo, one of the oldest members of the prominent Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, took over as its commander after their 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.

2. Prior to joining the militant ranks, Naikoo was a mathematics teacher. He was known to have a passion for painting roses before he picked up the gun at the age of 33.

3. Naikoo made his presence felt for the first time in January 2016, during the funeral of Shariq Ahmad Bhat, who had been killed in an encounter. Riyaz had fired shot in the air with his Kalashnikov rifles, reviving a long-gone tradition of paying tributes to slain militants in Kashmir.

4. He is now a top-rated (A++ category) militant in Kashmir who carries a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head.