Suffice to say, this terrorist's days are now numbered

Saifullah Mir, aka Ghazi Haider, has been appointed as the new chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after security forces eliminated Naiku in an encounter last week. Riyaz Naikoo was the tech-savvy face of Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley. 26-year-old Ghazi has been a resident of Malangpora in Pulwama. He was handpicked by Naikoo and trained for terror ops

New Delhi: After Riyaz Naikoo, Hizbul Mujahideen has appointed Saifullah Mir, aka Ghazi Haider as the new leader of the terror outfit in the Valley. The 26-year-old, who hails from Malangpora in Pulwama area of Jammu and Kashmir, was radicalised by Naikoo and given the name Ghazi Haider. 

Mir, a standard 12 pass out, has been on the radar of security agencies in the Valley. His name features as Dr Saifullah alias Dr Saif in the list of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, prepared by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2017. 

According to the records in the Home Ministry, Mir was the district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Pulwama before being elevated to the rank of HM chief after the death of his mentor Naikoo. Naikoo reportedly trained Mir for almost six years before being eliminated by the security forces last week. 

As reported by Times Now, Naikoo was killed by the security forces in Pulwama district in an encounter on May 6. Naikoo, 32, was the second in command of Burhan Wani. He became the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen after Wani was killed in July 2016.

Naikoo was one of the longest surviving terrorists since 2012. On May 5, based on technical inputs, security forces launched a massive combing operation in the area. He was hiding in one of the three houses which were searched by the security forces. According to sources, the house belonged to Naiku's relative and he came out an fired upon the forces. He was eliminated in retaliatory fire. 

His body was buried in Sonmarg area. 

Hizbul Mujahideen:

One of the banned terror organisations under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967, Hizbul Mujahideen has also been designated as a terror outfit by the US. August 16, 2017, the US Department of State designated HM as a foreign terrorist organisation as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). 

Formed in 1989, HM is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. 'Hizbul Mujahideen is led by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people' - the US observed while designating HM as a terror outfit.