Chief operational commander of terrorist group Hizbul Mujahideen, Saifullah has been killed during an encounter with police and security forces at Rangreth in Jammu and Kashmir`s Srinagar district on Sunday, officials said.
“This is a huge success for the police and security forces. This is not a small achievement,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters at the encounter site.
Recounting the events of the morning, an official said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Rangreth area near the old airfield following specific information about the presence of militants there. As the forces were conducting searches in the area, the militants fired. The forces retaliated, resulting in the encounter.
Saifullah had taken over as the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after the killing of Riyaz Naikoo in May. A top police officer said the operation was based on hard intelligence generated by the police.
“So the security forces cordoned off the area and an operation was launched. In the exchange of firing, one militant was killed. According to our source, we are 95 per cent sure he is Dr Saifullah. We are retrieving the body and it will be identified,” Kumar added.
Kumar said the network of J-K Police has become stronger and police get information about any militant entering the city.
Asked whether any other militant was apprehended alive from the encounter site, he said a suspect has been taken into custody and is being questioned.
(With inputs from agencies)