Hizbul chief Salahuddin in shock over Indian forces’ success in eliminating Naikoo

Pulwama: The site where the most wanted militant commander, Riyaz Naikoo along with his associate were killed in an anti-militancy operation in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on May 6, 2020. Naikoo, Kashmir's most wanted terrorist and Hizbul chief was trapped late on Tuesday in his native Beighpora village in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.The Hizbul Mujahiddin commander and and his associate were killed early on Wednesday while another militant was killed in a separate operation in Sharshali village of Khrew area in Pulwama district away from Naikoo's encounter spot. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  Pakistan-based terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has said that Indian security forces position in the Kashmir valley is strong, according to a video of him which surfaced earlier this week.

In the video, Salahuddin is seen addressing a gathering in Rawalpindi to mourn the killing of top Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this week, saying that even after the killing of five security personnel in the Valley, Indian security forces continued to be in a position of strength.

Naikoo was Hizbul Mujahideen’s Jammu and Kashmir chief and was killed by the Indian armed forces a few days ago in an encounter in Pulwama district.

Salahuddin has been termed as a global terrorist by the US State Department.

He was speaking in Urdu with a Kashmiri accent, and could be heard saying, “It’s a shock for all of us (killing of Riyaz Naikoo).”

He is heard saying that since January this year, 80 Mujahideens (terrorists) were eliminated by the security forces, all of whom were highly educated and trained.

The Central intelligence agencies stumbled upon the video where Salahuddin is seen ranting about the Indian forces and singing praises for Naikoo.

Salahuddin also said that the Handwara attack, in which five security personnel and two terrorists were killed on May 2, was planned by them. “Despite the setback in Handwara, Indian forces continued to be in a strong position,” he is heard as saying in his address.

An anti-terror unit head said, “This clearly shows Pakistan’s involvement in continuing to harbour terrorists.”

Rattled by the recent killings of terrorists, Salahuddin’s reference to the failures refers to the current situation where terror groups are in disarray. “Our policies have led to the failures,” he is heard as saying in the video clip.

The anti-terror officer said that despite losing eight men in two encounters in Handwara, security forces have maintained constant pressure on the militants across the Kashmir valley.

“We are into a hot pursuit mode,” he added.