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Tracked Reyaz Naiko’s movements for weeks, won’t hand over bodies to families: IGP

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After chasing Hizb top Commander Reyaz Naikoo for over 6 months, police finally managed to neutralize him in his native village in South Kashmir.

Naikoo, a resident of Beighpora Awantipora,was killed along with his associate on Wednesday triggering clashes while authorities snapped mobile internet and calling facilities across Kashmir Valley.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar confirmed to KNT that over a dozen protesters were injured after the encounter among which some of them sustained bullet injuries. But he said, the situation is under control and all the injured are stable.

“There was massive stone-pelting in and around the encounter site. Protesters damaged two of our vehicles,” Kumar said while divulging information about the encounter that led to the killing of Hizb Commander.

He said from the past six months, Jammu Kashmir Police was after Reyaz Naikoo. “The basic task of the police is to generate human and technical intelligence. Our DIG Atul and his team were chasing Naikoo for a long time but from the past week when we suffered some set back in North Kashmir, the team got more involved in tracking the movements of Naikoo.”

“Every movement of Naikoo was being tracked. Some of the policemen slept for only one or two hours. During our hunt for Naikoo, we managed to bust at least 6 hideouts, used by Reyaz Naikoo. We tracked the movements of Naikoo and his sympathizers. We arrested and interrogated some of the OGWs and got important information.”

IGP Kashmir said that the first-day when police cordoned off the area where Naikoo was hiding, they didn’t find anything. “We were sure that Naikoo is here and thus didn’t lift the cordon. We called army and troopers. Next day, when we started the search operation again, militants fired on us and we retaliated and killed the Commander,” he said.

Kumar said that he won’t shy away from the fact that Naikoo had a grip on the militant ranks and his influence on the youth was immense. “Through his power of influence, he was recruiting youth to militancy. Now that he is dead, the recruitment process will come down.”

Kumar said that Naikoo was frequently releasing videos, motivating youth to join militancy, and threatening and intimidating people and police. “He was involved in many killings. Narcotic trade was the main source of his income. His killing will give relief to a large number of people,” he claimed.

The Inspector General of Police made it clear that police won’t hand over the bodies of militants or any civilian to families, till the Coronavirus threat is over. “We admitted that the civilian killed in Handwara was innocent. We motivated his family and buried him in Baramulla in presence of his parents. There were apprehensions that a large number of people will participate in his funeral if we hand over the body to the family. Till the Coronavirus crisis is not over, we won’t hand over the bodies of militants to families,” he said adding that cellular and internet service will be restored once they have complete control over the situation.

For the unversed, Riyaz Ahmad Naikoo was one of the top ten most wanted militants of Jammu and Kashmir. He was a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.(KNT)

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