Hizb Commander Junaid Sehrai Killed in Srinagar Encounter

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Nawakadal was the scene of a gunfight after nearly a decade- KO photo Abid Bhat

SRINAGAR: Junaid Sehrai, son of Hurriyat leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, was among two militants killed in an encounter with government forces in downtown Srinagar on early Tuesday.

The second militant has been identified as Tariq Ahmed Sheikh, a resident of Pulwama.

Junaid Sehrai

The encounter began around 2 AM after a joint team of the CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon and search operation in Kani Mazar locality of Nawakadal area in Srinagar city.

Shortly after the area was brought under siege, mobile internet and mobile telephony services, except on BSNL postpaid, were snapped in Srinagar.

KO Pic: Abid Bhat

A police official said militants trapped in the house, fired upon search party and there was intermittent exchange of fire.

Addressing press conference in Srinagar DGP Dibagh Singh said that in the operation Hizbul Mujahideen’s divisional commander for Central Kashmir Junaid Sehrai was killed. “Sehrai was assigned the task of heading Central Kashmir areas,” Singh said.

The DGP said that Nawa Kadal operation was a clean one as only one residential house caught fire which was controlled immediately. “The first thing we did in the morning was to evacuate the inmates. In that process, two forces personnel—one from CRPF and another from SoG were injured. In the final assault, the remaining militant hurled a grenade in which two CRPF men sustained injuries. He said all the injured were stable.

Earlier reports said there was a lull in the firing from 2:30 AM to 9 AM. “Contact was established again with the militants at 9 AM,” according to police.

Reports said that the house where the two militants were trapped was blasted and bodies of the slain were recovered from the debris.

Juniad, son of Ashraf Sehrai who heads Tehrik-e-Hurriyat, had joined militant ranks in March 2018. He was an MBA from the University of Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson in a statement issued here this evening said that Junaid was a master planner for carrying out sensational attacks upon the police and security forces in order to snatch their weapons. “He along with his associates was also involved in number of subversive activities including weapon snatching, bank robberies, attacks on security forces, grenade attacks in south and central Kashmir areas besides, motivating local youth to join militant ranks especially in HM outfit,” the police spokesperson said.

Giving more details of Junaid’s militant activities, the police spokesperson said that he and his associate shot at and injured an SPO Roman Rashid at Khanmohalla locality of Barzulla Srinagar. In Tral, Junaid, according to police, fired at Manzoor Ahmad Hajam for being police informer.

“He was also leading various unruly mobs and created law and order disturbance during anti-militancy operations. He was involved in instigating the youth to proceed towards encounter sites for making safe passage to holed up militant,” the police spokesperson claimed.

 

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