Hizbul Mujahideen chief commander Saifullah is believed to be killed during a gunfight in Rangreth area of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, 1 November, reported the Hindustan Times, citing the police.
One militant was also reportedly captured alive during the operation that was launched in the morning in response to specific information, the police said, the report added.
“Our sources have told us that the militant killed in the operation is Hizbul Mujahideen chief commander, Saifullah,” the daily quoted a cop as saying.
According to news agency IANS, on being asked by reporters how a most wanted militant commander like Saifullah could manage to come so close to Srinagar city from his south Kashmir operational base, IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said: "Let us not waste time in asking how he came here. Let us celebrate his killing."
Vijay Kumar also, according to media reports, claimed that this was “a huge success” for the police and security forces.
How Did the Encounter Take Place?
The encounter war reportedly carried out on the basis of specific information.
According to TOI, IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, also informed that a joint team of the police, the CRPF and the Army had cordoned off the Rangreth neighbourhood, which is close to the J&K Light Infantry headquarters, after receiving intelligence inputs about Saifullah being holed up there with an aide.
Vijay Kumar also reportedly said that Saifullah fired several rounds at the security forces before he was killed.
"Saifullah who was the number one commander of Hizbul Mujahideen has been killed in the encounter. It was a very successful operation," Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh told ANI.
More About Saifullah
A senior officer reportedly told The Print that Saifullah kept a low profile before becoming a commander and after.
Saifullah had only succeeded Riyaz Naikoo as the Hizbul chief after Naikoo was killed earlier in May.
The report added that he had joined militant ranks in 2014 and operated under Burhan Wani. Saifullah also reportedly appeared in one of the group photos of Wani and his associates that had gone viral on social media.
According to The Print, he had a diploma degree in medical electronics from Industrial Training Institute in Pulwama and one from the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology in Srinagar. It was for this reason that Saifullah had been given the nickname “Doctor”.
(With inputs from HT, TOI, IANS, ANI and The Print.)