Srinagar: Zubair Wani, an MPhil dropout from Dehradun College, has been named the new Hizbul Mujahideen chief in Kashmir after the killing of Saifullah Mir in an encounter last Sunday.
In less than six months, Hizb has seen two new operational commanders. Earlier, Saifullah had taken over the militant group in Kashmir after Riyaz Naikoo was killed in May this year.
The 31-year-old Wani joined the outfit in 2018. His family lives in their native Dehruna village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Among five siblings, Wani is the only educated one.
Sources said Wani superseded Ashraf Moulvi alias Ashraf Khan — the seniormost among the present Hizb militants — to bag the position of the operational commander because Moulvi is suffering from a kidney ailment and has hinted at giving up militancy several times in the past.
Moulvi, who is in his late forties, had picked up arms in 2013 and is an A++ militant. Considering his seniority and experience, he was expected to take over the outfit’s reins after Naikoo’s killing but Saifullah was made the commander in view of Moulvi’s ailment. (ToI)