Jammu, May 29, 2017: A day after the killing of Sabzar Bhat, successor of poster boy Burhan Wani, Pakistan-sponsored militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has reportedly named Riyaz Naikoo as its new commander in Kashmir on Sunday.
According to reports, Jammu and Kashmir Police see Naikoo as the new Hizbul commander in the Valley and also believes 29-year-old, Naikoo to be the oldest surviving militant of the outfit.
Naikoo is a tech savvy militant and may attract more people from the valley towards militancy through the social media. He has reportedly escaped the security traps and cordons several times in the past few years. However, he favours a secular society in the Kashmir Valley.
A few months ago, Naikoo, is his 11-minute video address, had invited Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley. He had said that “We will welcome them (Kashmiri Pandits) warmly and there is always place for them in our hearts. They are part of our nation. We are their protectors and not their enemies”.
Intelligence sources said Hizbul is likely to nominate Naikoo as its new chief to counter the narrative of deposed commander Zakir Musa that terrorists in Kashmir were fighting for an Islamic Caliphate and imposition of Shariat.