Hizb Commander Killed During Firefight After Arrest In Handwara: Police

KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Police on Wednesday declared that a longest surviving Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander was killed in an encounter in Kralgund area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Me’rajudin Halwai alias Ubaid of Khushhal Mattoo locality of Sopore was earlier detained by a joint team of police and SSB at a checkpoint at Watyen, Handwara on Tuesday.

According to a police spokesperson Ubaid was detained after he behaved in a suspicious manner while vehicles were being checked for enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour.

He said that Ubaid was immediately shifted to the nearest police post for questioning after a grenade was recovered from his possession during frisking. During questioning, the police spokesperson said that the detained man identified himself as an active militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.

“During further questioning, on his disclosure multiple CASOs were launched by Police, Army, CRPF and SSB in which at village area Pazipora Renan Kralgund Handwara, when CASO was started, the said militant tried to pinpoint the location where he had kept his arms and ammunition,” the police spokesperson said.

He claimed that upon reaching the disclosed hideout location, Ubaid picked up his hidden AK-47 rifle and started firing indiscriminately upon the joint search party which led to an encounter.

“In the ensuing fire-fight the said militant got killed. Incriminating material, arms & ammunition including one AK-47, 04 magazines, power bank, blanket, medicines, etc were recovered from the hideout,” he added.

Divulging more details about the slain militant commander, the police spokesperson said that he was an A++ militant and was group commander of HM, active since 2012. He said that Ubaid had a long history including attacks on police and state forces, besides civilian atrocities and several cases were registered against him.

Listing major attacks carried out by Ubaid, he said, the slain Hizb commander was involved in killing of SPO Mudasir Ahmad Dar, Sarpanches Khazir Mohammad Parray and Habib Ullah Mir besides attack on Panch Zoona Begum. The police spokesperson also blamed the slain Hizb commander and his associates for killing four policemen and taking away their three rifles from Hygam area of Sopore on April 26, 2013 and killing of Hurriyat activists and former militants, including Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman, Khursheed Ahamd Bhat, Mehraj-ud-Din Dar and Aijaz Ahmad Reshi.

“Besides, he was involved in attacks on various establishments including the attack on Hotel Heemal Srinagar,” he said.

“The killed militant was well acquainted with modern means of communication by which he would communicate with other militants and plan & execute different militant activities on ground. He was instrumental in motivating and recruitment of youth into militant ranks besides raising funds for promotion of militancy activities,” he added.

The police spokesperson further said that a case under relevant sections of law has been registered in this regard and investigations have been initiated.

According to police, Ubaid was a diploma holder in computer applications and had also been responsible for misusing social media & new methods of communication for militancy.

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