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Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin leads slain terrorist Riyaz Naikoo’s condolence meet in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, admits Indian security forces eliminated 80 terrorists this year

Lamenting over the killing of Islamic terrorists by the Indian Armed Forces, Salauddin was heard saying Mujahideens have tried to break the back of enemy i.e Indian Army in Handwara, Rajwara recently but the 'enemy' has the upper edge.

Days after Indian Armed Forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Riyaz Naikoo, the chief of the Pakistan-sponsored terror group – Syed Salahuddin was seen holding condolence meet for the dead terrorist in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In the video, which has gone viral now, US State Department designated global terrorist and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin appeared to be extremely disturbed over security forces eliminating Pakistan-backed terrorists.

Salahuddin heads the United Jihad Council, a Pakistan-based conglomeration of various terror groups sponsored by Pakistan’s ISI. In the 50-second video, Salahuddin can be seen addressing a small crowd at the condolence meet held somewhere in Pakistan.

Speaking in Urdu, Salahuddin can be heard saying, “It is a shock for all of us after the killing of Riyaz Naikoo. These ‘Shahadats’ (sacrifices) have been going on in Kashmir since long. Since January this year, 80 Mujahideens (terrorists) have given their ‘Shahadat’ and all of them were highly educated and trained.”

In another video he could be seen praying for the terrorist.

Lamenting over the killing of Islamic terrorists by the Indian Armed Forces, Salauddin was heard saying Mujahideens have tried to break the back of enemy i.e Indian Army in Handwara, Rajwara recently but the ‘enemy’ has the upper edge. According to journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, Syed Salahuddin also hit out at Pakistan for its policies and also for succumbing to international pressure which has let India gain an advantage in defeating terror.

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo eliminated

In a massive success to security forces of the country, Riyaz Naikoo, rated as an ‘A++’ category terrorist, was eliminated on Wednesday in a highly-sensitive operation that lasted more than 12 hours.

According to the reports, the Islamic terrorist was trapped in a village during an overnight operation in Beighpora village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama. During the encounter last night, another unidentified terrorist was also killed by the security forces in the Awantipora area.

Riyaz Naikoo took over as the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen after the outfit’s poster boy and commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Kokarnag area in Anantnag district on July 8, 2016.

Riyaz Naikoo – one of the most wanted terrorists

The dreaded terrorist – Riyaz Naikoo is a top Hizbul Mujahideen commander. He had carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head. The killing of Riyaz Naikoo is a big blow to the local terror groups active in the area, especially Hizbul Mujahideen. Riyaz Naikoo is among the oldest surviving members of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Riyaz Naikoo is also responsible for holding the remaining faction of Hizbul together after it disintegrated when Zakir Musa broke away from the Hizbul ranks to form his own splinter group.

Musa had split from the Hizbul in 2017 and formed his own group called Ansar-Ghazwatul-Hind that claimed to be the Indian affiliate of the Al-Qaeda.

Who is Syed Salahuddin?

Syed Salahuddin, who is also known as Yusuf Shah before he joined terrorism, belonged to Kashmir’s Budgam district. According to Hindustan Times, Salahuddin is a well-known Islamic scholar and preacher affiliated to the Jamaat-e-Islami, a religious socio-political organisation.

Salahuddin, after graduating from Kashmir University in 1971, was popular for his Islamic sermons on Fridays at Exhibition Ground in Srinagar. Later, he had also contested the 1987 Jammu and Kashmir assembly election on a Muslim United Front (MUF) ticket, from the Amirakadal constituency in Srinagar and lost.

Yusuf Shah was declared as the chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen in 1991 and adopted his new name – Syed Salahuddin, after the 12th-century sultan of Egypt and Syria and a crusader, Saladin. Since then, the Hizbul Mujahideen under Salahuddin’s leadership has carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Indian security forces across the valley.

According to the book – Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years, written by AS Dulat, who was the chief of Research and Analysis Wing, Salahuddin’s family and his five sons live in Kashmir. One of his son Syed Mueed, who is an information technology manager in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), was once rescued by security forces from institute’s building on Srinagar outskirts when terrorists had attacked it in 2016.

In his book, Dulat has narrated a story, when Salahuddin had pleaded the Indian government for a medical seat in Srinagar. The admission to Srinagar was done with the help of former chief minister and NC leader Farooq Abdullah.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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