The armed forces have prepared another list of the fifteen most wanted militants operating in the conflict-stricken region. The list contains the names of Zakir Musa, Riyaz Naikoo, Dr. Saifullah and Abu Hanzala.
Zakir Musa, was associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen and was the successor of slain militant commander Burhan Wani. He was named the head of the Al-Qaeda India unit, Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind last year.
Riyaz Naikoo, chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, carries Rs 12.5 lakh on his head and is a resident of Naikoo Mohalla in Awantipora’s Durburg. He has been categorised under A++ tag, which is reserved for the ‘most dreaded’ militants in the valley.
The full list is given as follows:
- Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa, active since 2013, A++
- Riyaz Naikoo, active since 2010, A++
- Dr. Saifullah alias Abu Musaib, active from 2014
- Zeenat Ul Islam, active since 2015
- Ashraf Khan, active since 2016
- Naveed Jatt Abu Hazalla, A++
- Mushtaq Ahmed Mir, A++
- Arjumand Gulzar, A++
- Azad Malik, A++
- Idrees Bhat, active since 2014, A++
- Zahid Ahmed Bhat, A++
- Shah Jahan, active since 2017, A++
The number of militants stayed close to 200 during past ten years, except in 2013 when it plunged to 78 – lowest since militancy erupted in the state in 1990.
It quoted a senior police officer and said that there has been a significant increase in the number of militants.
“The main reason for the high number of militants has been local recruitment since 2017. Last year 126 Valley youths picked up guns- which was the highest number since 2010 and this year over 130 have been inducted into militancy,” the report said while quoting the senior officer.