Big achievement for armed forces, he had taken over control outfit after killing of Reyaz Naikoo in May this year, a suspect also arrested at encounter site’
Srinagar: Inspector General of Police Kashmir range Vijay Kumar on said that Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief operational commander for the valley Dr Saifullah has been killed in a military operation at Rangreth area of Srinagar outskirts while a “suspect” has also been arrested, who is being questioned.
Official sources have identified the arrested suspect as Mohammad Tufail Malik, son of Ghulam Hassan Malik.
A resident of Arwani area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, Malik is a private teacher by profession.
The Kashmir police chief said that on the basis of a specific lead, joint teams of police and CRPF laid a cordon at Rangreth area and later army also joined in the operation.
“I am 95 per cent sure that the militant killed in the gunfight is Hizb chief operational commander Dr Saifullah who had taken over the reins of Hizb after the killing of its chief Reyaz Naikoo in an encounter in May this year,” the IGP said.
The IGP said that a suspect, not the militant has been arrested at the site who is being questioned by the police.
“The encounter is almost over. We are sanitizing the area and clearing it as there may be some leftover grenades etc,” he said.
Asked how big achievement is the killing of Dr Saifullah for the armed forces, he said: “It’s a big success as he was the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. He had taken over the control of the outfit after the killing of Reyaz Naikoo. So it’s really a very big achievement.”