Hizb ul Mujahideen, troubled by the elimination of its commander Riyaz Naikoo in Jammu and Kashmir, has now handed over the command of the outfit in the valley to a terrorist named Ghazi Haider. The Indian Army has started looking for this terrorist, who used to work as a technician in an institute in Srinagar at one time.
Ghazi Haider, who has become the new face of Hizb in Kashmir, has been appointed at the behest of Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin. Ghazi Haider is the person whom Riyaz Naikoo had himself trained in terror operations. The real name of Ghazi Haider, who has been active in Kashmir since 2014, is Saifullah. His terror accomplices refer to him as “Dr Saif”.
The administration has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anybody sharing actionable information on Ghazi Haider, a terrorist of the A++ category, even as officers of the army, as well as intelligence agencies, are looking for him.
The army has so far killed whoever became the commander of the Hizb in Kashmir before Ghazi Haider in encounters in no time. The army had eliminated Burhan Wani, commander of the Hizb in Kashmir in 2016, during an encounter at Tral in Pulwama.
Subsequent to that operation, the army had liquidated all the terrorists of the Burhan Wani gang in the next few years, including most wanted terrorists like Riyaz Naikoo, Zakir Musa and Zeenat ul Islam.
Like Burhan Wani and Riyaz Naikoo, Ghazi Haider has a Pulwama connection. Burhan was a resident of Tral in Pulwama while Riyaz Naikoo worked at the Hanifa Model Public School after studying from the same school in Pulwama. The latest Hizb commander for Jammu and Kashmir is a resident of Malangpora area of Pulwama again.
Riyaz Naikoo and Burhan Wani were both killed in separate operations in Pulwama.
Zafar ul Islam, along with today’s Hizb commander, has been tasked to build a network in southern Kashmir for the Hizb. Originally, Pulwama of South Kashmir had been a stronghold of the Hizb.
At the time of Operation All Out, more than 50 Hizb terrorists were killed in this area of Kashmir. That included many top commanders.