Srinagar:  Junaid Sehrai, son of Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, was among two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants killed in a gunfight with a joint team of police and paramilitary CRPF at Nawa Kadal Srinagar on Tuesday.

Firefighters and locals try to douse the fire as several houses caught fire during a gunbattle between militants and forces in Srinagar on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“The operation has been concluded. Two militants including Junaid Ashraf Khan (Sehrai) were killed,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told news agency GNS.

The other militant killed in the overnight gunfight at Kanimazar area of Nawakadal here has been identified as Tariq Ahmed Sheikh, a resident of Pulwama. Three personnel from CRPF along with one policeman from Special Operation Group were injured in the gunfight which also saw damage to some houses in the area, officials said.

Junaid alias Amaar Bhai had announced his joining the militant ranks on 24 March 2018 when his pictures brandishing AK-47 rifle went viral on social networking sites. Wearing a skull cap, the 29-year-old was seen with the riffle signalling his joining the Hizbul, which was a usual trait of the militant outfit to announce the joining of the new cadre to the ranks during the time.

Junaid, an MBA pass-out, had left for Friday prayers on  March 23, 2018, but did not return home in the uptown Bagaat area of Srinagar city. The next day, his family approached the Police Station Saddar and formally lodged a missing report. Hours later Junaid’s picture surfaced on social media. The killing of Junaid, youngest son of Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, comes less than a fortnight after Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Riyaz Naikoo was killed along with his associate in an encounter with a joint team of police, army and CRPF at Bieghpora village, his hometown in Awantipora area of Pulwama district on May 6.

Forces personnel near the site of encounter in Srinagar on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The encounter leading to the killing of Junaid and Tariq started after the joint team of Police and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in the Kanimazar area late last night. As the joint team approached towards the suspected house, officials said, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering off an encounter. A policeman from Special Operation Group and three paramilitary CRPF personnel were injured during the course of the gunfight and were removed to hospital, they said. The operation was suspended due to darkness last night and resumed at first light today, reaching its peak as the day progressed, they added. Two AK-47 rifles and other arms and ammunition were claimed to have been recovered from the slain duo.

Meanwhile, voice calling and mobile internet services have been suspended in Srinagar district as “precautionary measure” since the dawn, officials said.



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