Who is Riyaz Naikoo, Kashmir's most wanted and dreaded terrorist
After the abduction and release of kin of policemen in Kashmir, Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo, largely known as a 'moderate' terrorist, has taken the centerstage. Naikoo, a 30-year-old terrorist, is listed in A++ category of security forces and has been on the radar after the assassination of Burhan Wani. Notably, after Naikoo's father was taken into custody, the families of policemen were kidnapped. Here's more about him.
A resident of Pulwama, Kashmir, Naikoo has been active since 2010. After Sabzar Bhat was killed in May '17, he became Hizbul Mujahideen's chief. Despite being on the radar since months, security forces haven't been able to nab him. They cornered him numerous times, but he managed to escape, said a security official. He has a reward of Rs. 12 lakh on him.
When two of his associates: Altaf Kachroo and Saddam Peddar were gunned down, Naikoo fired shots in the air and revived the culture of 'Gun Salute'. He had reportedly done the same after Bhat was killed in an all-night long encounter.
For long, Naikoo has developed an image of being a 'moderate' terrorist. Once he shot a video, saying terrorists weren't the enemies of Kashmiri Pandits and spoke about welcoming them to the valley. Naikoo is also instrumental in recruiting young men into militancy. After his father was taken in custody, Naikoo warned policemen to not behave as Indian agents in a video.