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Srinagar gunfight: Hurriyat leader’s son among two Hizb militants killed

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Srinagar: Junaid Sehrai, son of Hurriyat chairman Ashraf Sehrai, was among two militants killed in an encounter in Srinagar, police said on Tuesday.
The encounter began after security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the area on Monday night following inputs about the presence of militants.
The exchange of fire began around 2 am and there was a lull in firing for about five hours after that. A fresh contact was established with the militants around 8 am, a police official said.
Two Hibzul Mujahideen militants were killed while a CRPF jawan and a Jammu and Kashmir policeman suffered injuries during an encounter in the city’s Nawakadal area on Tuesday, police said.
“In last night operation’s 2 terrorists were killed. They have been identified as Junaid Ashraf Khan from Srinagar and Tariq Ahmed Sheikh from Pulwama. Junaid is the youngest son of Hurriyat’s Chairman Mohammed Ashraf Khan,” Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said.
Two security personnel — a CRPP jawan and a Jammu and Kashmir policeman — were injured in the gubbattle with the militants, the officials said.
The encounter began after security forces launched a cordon and search operation in the night following information about the presence of militants there.
The encounter began around 2 am. There was a lull in firing for about five hours after that. But fresh contact was established with the militants around 8 am, the official said.
The official said mobile internet and mobile telephony services, except on BSNL postpaid, have been snapped in the city as a precautionary measure.
Police identified the second slain militant as Tariq Ahmed Sheikh from Pulwama district of South Kashmir. Sehrai is from Hyderpora area of Srinagar. He originally hails from Kuwpara district. At present, his father is living in Hyderpora area of Srinagar.
Soon after the encounter ended, DGP Dilbagh Singh while addressing press conference in Srinagar said Hizbul Mujahideen’s divisional commander for Central Kashmir Junaid Sehrai was killed. “Sehrai was assigned the task of heading Central Kashmir areas,” he said.
The DGP said that Junaid and his accomplice were tasked to lure youth into militancy and grenade throwing. “Sehrai would hold meetings with the youth and lure them towards militancy,” he said. His associate Tariq was active in Pulwama and Shopian districts.
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 J&KP’s SoG were injured. In the final assault, the remaining militant hurled a grenade in which two CRPF men sustained injured but the injured are stable,” he said.
Asked how many militants are active in Srinagar, the DGP said that number keeps on floating and in entire Central Kashmir, the number is just 14. About the total active militants in Kashmir at present, he said the number is far less than the last year.
“Not more than 240 militants are active in Kashmir,” he said, adding that 73 militants were killed this year so far and 95 militants and their associates were arrested.
Meanwhile, four persons were injured on Tuesday evening after a house at encounter site collapsed, officials said.
They said that some people on late evening visited the encounter site at Nawa Kadal where two militants including a top Hizb militant Junaid Sehrai were killed.
They said that house got collapsed suddenly, leaving four persons wounded.
They have been shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar for treatment, officials added.


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