Srinagar, May 19: Junaid Sehrai, Divisional Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, and son of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Ashraf Sehrai, was among two militants killed in an encounter with security forces in downtown here on Tuesday.
Three security force personnel were also injured in the encounter which ensued after a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) was launched in downtown Srinagar, where cellular and mobile internet services were suspended for security reason.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said that following specific information about presence of militants, a joint CASO was launched by Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K police and CRPF at around 0200 hrs on Tuesday at densely populated Kanemazar area in Nawakadal, Srinagar.
He said when security forces were moving towards the target house, militants hiding there, fired at them with automatic weapons. “Security forces retaliated ensuing in an encounter,” he said, adding the exchange of fire took place during the night,” Singh told reporters here.
He said two militants were killed in the encounter. “Both the militants belong to HM,” he said, adding two weapons, besides arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
He said one of the slain militant has been identified as Junai Sehrai, who is the son of Sehrai. “Junaid joined militancy in 2018 and was active in three to four districts, particularly Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar,” he said, adding the another slain militant has been identified as Tariq Ahmad Sheikh from Pulwama, who had joined militant ranks in March this year.
Junaid had gone missing in 2018. Soon after his disappearance, a picture of Junaid, brandishing an AK-47, went viral on social media.
Junaid, an MBA degree holder, was the first such case where a son of a senior separatist leader had joined militant ranks.
The DGP said Junaid was wanted in over half-a-dozen cases, including attack on security forces in Tral and Srinagar. “He was the Divisional Commander of HM and was also taking care of Central Kashmir area as well,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, sources said several houses were damaged near the encounter site.
The DGP later in the evening visited Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar and enquired about the death of CRPF and police personnel injured in the encounter.