New Delhi: The separatist militant outfit Hizbul Muhajideen (HM) chief Dr Saifullah was killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday, police said, calling it a huge success for the security forces.
But who was Dr Saifullah and how did he come to be called so? Here are some major points you need to know about the slain terror outfit head:
- Saifullah, also known as Dr Saifullah, had succeeded Riyaz Naikoo as the HM chief when Naikoo was killed by security forces in his native Beighpora village of Pulwama district on May 6 this year.
- He was the last of the 10 most wanted local militant commanders who had served as “icons” of homegrown militancy in Kashmir and was active since October 2014.
- Naikoo who had succeeded Burhan Wani, whose killing in a gunfight on July 8, 2016 in Kokarnag area of Anantnag district had triggered public unrest which lasted for nearly six months.
- Saifullah had planned a career in medicine. His mother, Sarwa Begum, who lives in Malangpora village of Pulwama district overlooked by the Indian Air Force base, told reporters that her son wanted to become a doctor.
- He finally managed obtain a diploma in repair and handling of medical equipment, earning him the prefix ‘Dr’ by residents of his village.
- Before joining the militant ranks, Saifullah served for three months in Kashmir’s prestigious tertiary care hospital, the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Soura area of Srinagar.
When asked by reporters as to how a most wanted militant commander like Saifullah could manage to come so close to Srinagar city from his south Kashmir operational base, IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said: “Let us not waste time in asking how he came here. Let us celebrate his killing.”
So far, over 200 militants have been eliminated in Jammu and Kashmir this year, said DGP Dilbag Singh.
(With inputs from IANS)