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Sehrai’s son among two militants killed in Srinagar encounter

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Four security men injured, residential houses damaged

Srinagar: Two militants, including Junaid Ashraf ‘Sehrai’ whose father is chairman of the separatist conglomerate Tehrek-e-Hurriyat, were killed on Tuesday after a 15-hour long gun battle with security forces in a densely populated area in downtown Srinagar, officials said.

Junaid, an MBA from the Kashmir University, had joined militancy in March 2018. Before returning to the Valley and joining the Hizbul Mujahideen, he had worked in a couple of multinational companies in Delhi.

At the age of 22, Junaid, the youngest among six brothers and sisters, was first named in an FIR when he was caught pelting stones during an agitation in 2010.

Considered to be radical, Junaid could not adjust in a job and decided to help his father in his politics.

Weeks after Sehrai took over the reins of the Tehrek-e-Hurriayt, Junaid disappeared on March 23, 2018 and never returned. His father submitted an application at Saddar police station on the next day informing about his son’s disappearance.

A few weeks later Junaid’s picture appeared on social media. He was brandishing an AK-47 and the post also mentioned a code name — ‘Ammar Bhai’.

Sehrai had turned down a suggestion of the then Director General of Police S P Vaid for making an appeal to his son to return.

As the encounter broke out slightly after midnight, authorities snapped all private mobile networks and shut down mobile internet in Srinagar district as a precautionary measure.

After the encounter, which ended this afternoon, angry residents poured out on streets as some houses caught fire during the 15-hour long operation in the densely populated Nawakadal area.

Four security men also suffered minor injuries during the encounter while as several residential houses were damaged during the encounter.

Some locals alleged that the security forces damaged several properties deliberately.

Giving details about the operation, Director General of J&K police Dilbagh Singh confirmed that Hizbul Mujahideen’s divisional commander for Central Kashmir and son of Ashraf Sehrai Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman, Junaid Sehrai was killed in Nawakaldal encounter on Tuesday.

He identified the other slain militant as Tariq Ahmed Sheikh from Pulwama district of South Kashmir.

DGP told media that the operation that started last night at Nawakadal area ended today afternoon with the killing of Junaid Sehrai and his associate.

He said that the militants were tasked to lure youth into militancy and throw grenades.

Calling the Nawakadal operation a clean one, DGP said 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 on the militants, the remaining militant hurled a grenade in which two CRPF men sustained injured but all injured are stable,” he said.

Regarding the number of militants active in Srinagar, the DGP said that 14 are active in central Kashmir but the numbers keep on floating.

“We have less number of Militants active in Srinagar this year than last year. Not more than 240 militants are active in Kashmir,” he said,

He added that 73 militants were killed this year so far and 95 militants and their associates were arrested

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