Srinagar, November 1: In a major setback to the insurgent forces operating in the Valley, a joint team of security forces on Sunday succeeded in eliminating commander Saifullah, who was the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen unit in Jammu & Kashmir. The top militant was killed in an encounter which broke out in outskirts of Srinagar, earlier today. Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan Targets Indian Positions in Poonch District.
The J&K Police issued a statement to confirm the neutralisation of Saifullah in the counter-insurgency operation carried out in Srinagar. The deceased, said to be a homegrown militant, had taken over the operations of Syed Salahuddin-led group in May this year, following the killing of Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo.
Saifullah was blamed as the mastermind behind the fatal assault on three BJP workers earlier this week. On his elimination, J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh lauded the security forces. "It is a clear message to terrorists that a severe retribution awaits all of them," he said.
J&K Inspector General Vijay Kumar told media persons that the body of Saifullah has been retrieved by the security forces. The corpse would be shown to his family members for identification, and subsequently, other formalities would be completed, he added.
The operation by security forces today comes three days after three BJP workers were killed by militants in Kulgam. The deceased were identified as Fida Hussain Yatoo, Umer Rashid Beigh and Umer Ramzan Hajam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to them on their demise.