Nawakadal: 4 Persons Injured Near Encounter Site

SRINAGAR: Four persons were injured near the encounter site in Nawa Kadal Srinagar where two militants were killed in an overnight encounter. Slain militants included Hizb Commander Junaid Ashraf Khan alias Sehrai.

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

A management graduate, Khan joined militancy in 2018, almost coinciding with his father Ashraf Sehrai replacing Syed Ali Geelani as the leader of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat-e-Kashmir.

Local news gathering agency KNT said after the encounter was over, groups of youth were busy clearing the debris near the encounter site when a concrete structure came down. It injured four youth. A police official while confirming the incident told the news agency: “All the 4 youth have been hospitalized, one among identified as Basim Ahmad a resident of Karanagar is believed to be critical.”

Meanwhile, the residents refused police claims that only four houses were damaged in the Srinagar gunfight. They said a total of 15 houses were destroyed. A PTI report said of the 12 houses that were damaged in the encounter, two were completed razed, three had a substantial loss and many others had cracks and burnt windows.

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

Residents also accused the counter insurgent police of looting the house before setting them afire. City Police Chief, however, had said that the allegations are motivated as cops drawing Rs 50,000 salary can not resort to looting.

Both the slain militants including Sehrai and Tariq Ahmed Sheikh, a resident of Pulwama, have been buried by the police somewhere outside Srinagar. Though Sehrai was quoted saying in media that the police had told him that he will be informed about the body of his slain son, he personally led the funeral prayers in absentia in which many people participated. The prayers were held at their residence. Family sources said that they were not permitted to attend his burial in Sonamarg. One of the relatives of Sehrai had met the police.

 Authorities have restored the cell phone services in Srinagar. However, internet services continue to be down.

The encounter was the first such gunbattle in Srinagar city after 2018.

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