Srinagar. With over 140 militants killed this year (2017) in the ongoing anti-militancy operations, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) ‘operational commander’ Riyaz Naikoo has banned its cadre “from using mobile phones to minimise the losses”, said media reports.
“It seems they [Hizbul militants] have damaged their old SIM cards. It’s not possible for them to survive without mobile phones. They have either managed new numbers or are staying without mobile phones,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Muneer Khan.
Sources said the killing of HM ‘operational commander’ Yasin Itoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi in an encounter in Shopian on August 13 had “struck a major blow to striking capability of Hizb” in south Kashmir. A top counter-insurgency official said that after Itoo’s killing, the new commander Naikoo has taken centre stage, and ‘is trying to keep the organisation’s ranks intact and disallow any defection to the more hard-line group led by Zakir Musa, who claims to represent the Kashmir arm of al Qaeda’.
In a bid to “revive striking capability”, Naikoo has asked militants to “surrender their mobile phones”. “In case of suspension of use of mobile phones, the police too will chalk out a fresh strategy to track them down. The ‘Operation All-Out’ will continue,” said IGP Muneer Khan.
Source- Voice of wadi