FakeWrong Caption

This viral photo of a doctor does not belong to Riyaz Naikoo, a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist

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Claim: A viral post claims that the doctor in the picture is Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist named Riyaz Naikoo who recently was killed in an encounter by the Indian Army.

Riyaz Ahmed Naikoo, one of the most wanted militants in the Valley, was killed in an encounter on 5th May 2020. According to the J&K police, he was found hiding in an attic of a house in Beighpora, his home village in South Kashmir.


These viral pictures started spreading on social media with false claim of Naikoo being a doctor.

The caption read, “आतंकी हिजबुल कमांडर “रियाज नायकू” एक डॉक्टर था । जो आज एनकाउंटर में मारा गया ।इनके पढ़ा लिखे होने का आतंक से कोई संबंध है ?? ये चाहे जितनी भी शिक्षा हासिल कर ले, रहेंगे असुर, जाहिल, गद्दार ही

( Translation: Hizbul commander “Riyaz Naikoo” was a doctor. The one who was killed in the encounter today. His education has no connection with him being a terrorist.  No matter how much education you get, you will always be a demon, ignorant, and a traitor!)

The post has been archived here.


Same post was also circulated on Twitter.

The tweet has been archived here.


The images are falsely claimed to be Naikoo’s. He was not a doctor by profession.

An article done by The Indian Express clearly mentions that Naikoo was a tailor of Beighpora village in Awantipora in south Kashmir, he acquired a degree in mathematics and taught the subject at a local school. Village residents remember him as a teacher popular among students.

Even this article of Hindustan Times features the real photo of Naikoo.

After doing a reverse image search of the viral photo, many Middle East news articles featured this image. A news report from Al Arabiya, dated 2014, mentions his name as Mustafa al-Anzi, a Saudi doctor who later joined ISIS. It also stated that he was reportedly killed on July 11, 2014, in an Iraqi military air-strike on an ISIS assembly in Mosul.


On comparing the photographs of Riyaz Naikoo and Mustafa al-Anzi, it can be clearly noticed that these are two different people. In the collage below, Naikoo can be seen on the left side and Anzi, the doctor from the viral posts can be seen on the right.

Hence, the terrorist, who is claimed to be a doctor before, in the viral posts is not Riyaz Naikoo. He is Mustafa al-Azni from ISIS who got killed in 2014.


Rujuta Thete

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Rujuta Thete

A food enthusiast who loves to explore new places and is also a budding journalist with a curious mind about everything under the sun.