Naikoo, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh, had been on the security forces' radar since 2012

A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, who dodged security forces for eight years, was in an encounter in his home village in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Wednesday. 

Riyaz Naikoo, the operational commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley, was trapped in Beighpora village in Pulwama by security forces. 

Authorities have already snapped mobile internet services across the valley as a precautionary measure, in anticipation of a possible a law and order problem.

Naikoo, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh, had been on the security forces' radar since 2012 when he quit as a school teacher to join militancy. 

He became the de facto chief of the terror group after the death of Burhan Wani in July 2016. The poster boy of militancy in Kashmir, Wani's death triggered massive protests in the Valley.

Here is a list of top terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir in last two years:

1. Muzaffar Ahmed Bhat: March 15, 2020 

Four terrorists, including district commander of LeT Muzaffar Ahmed Bhat, were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Dialgam area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir.

2. Qari Yasir: January 25, 2020

Self-styled chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Kashmir, Yasir was among three terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in the Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

3. Abu Saifullah alias Abu Qasim: January 23, 2020)

Abu Saifullah alias Abu Qasim, a top militant commander and and associate of Yasir, was killed in the Khrew area of Pulwama district.

4. Zakir Musa: May 23, 2019

Zakir Musa, a top terrorist operating in the valley, was a former Hizbul Mujahideen commander who founded Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, an Indian wing of Al-Qaeda, and headed the group till his death. He was killed in an encounter in Dadsara Tral area.

5. Fayaz Panzoo: July 30, 2019

Jaish-e-Mohammed Commander Fayaz Panzoo was killed in an encounter in Anantnag along with his associate.

6. Hameed Lelhari: October 22, 2019

Zakir Musa's successor and chief of Kashmir's al-Qaeda unit, Hameed Lelhari, was killed by the security forces in an encounter at Jammu and Kashmir's Awantipora.

7. Osama: September 28, 2019

A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Osama was wanted in connection with the assassination of a senior BJP leader and an RSS functionary. He was killed along with two other terrorists in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir.

8. Asif Maqbool Bhat: September 11, 2019

Top Lashkar terrorist Asif Maqbool Bhat, who was behind Sopore attack on fruit trader’s family, was killed in an encounter in Sopore.

9. Munna Lahori: July 27, 2019

Pakistani national as Munna Lahori, a top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was killed in a joint operation by Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Indian Army.

10. Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi: May 10, 2019

Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi was a top commander of Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) — an Islamic State-inspired module in Kashmir Valley — and had even featured in the IS mouthpiece, al-Risalah. He was killed during an anti-insurgency operation in Amshipura area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

11. Khalid Bhai: May 17, 2019

A top JeM commander, Khalid Bhai was killed in an encounter at Dalipora village, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. 

12. Mudasir Ahmed Khan: March 10, 2019

One of the main conspirators of Pulwama terror attack, Mudasir Ahmed Khan was killed in an encounter with security forces in J&K’s Tral area.

13. Abu Dujana: July 13, 2018

Most wanted Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Abu Dujana was killed along with another terrorist in an encounter in Pulwama district of south Kashmir. He was carrying a reward of Rs 12.5 lakh on his head at the time of the encounter.