Top Hizb commander killed in Handwara gunfight: Police

SRINAGAR — Police on Wednesday said that one of the oldest commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen for North Mehraj ud Din alias Ubaid was killed in a gunfight at Pazipora area of Kralgund in North Kashmir’s Handwara.

Quoting Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar, the police spokesman on official Twitter handle said, ” One of the oldest & top commander of HM militant outfit Mehrazuddin Halwai @Ubaid got neutralised in Handwara encounter. He was involved in several militancy crimes. A big success: IGP Kashmir,”.

He said that Ubaid was a contemporary of Hizb commander Burhan Wani. While Burhan was engaged in series of civilian and govt forces killings in South Kashmir, IGP said adding Mehrazuddin Halwai was involved in killing of civilians and forces in North Kashmir.

He further added that Ubaid had joined militant ranks in the year 2011. A diploma in computer application holder had also been responsible for “misusing” social media & new methods of communication for ‘terrorism’.

Earlier, the operation was launched by joint team of Police, army’s 32RR and 92 BN of CRPF in Kralgund area of Handwara.

Police Version

In a statement, the police said that On 6th July (Yesterday), Handwara Police along with SSB during routine Naka checking regarding enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour at Watyen Handwara had stopped number of vehicles which were being checked. During checking, one pedestrian was behaving in a very suspicious manner, who was tactfully apprehended by the joint Naka party.

During his personal search one grenade was recovered from his possession. Accordingly, he was immediately shifted to nearest police post for questioning.During questioning, he identified himself as Mehraj-ud-din Halwai @Ubaid Son of Abdul Khaliq resident of Khushal Mattoo Sopore, an active militant commander of militant outfit HM, they said.

The statement further stated that during further questioning, on his disclosure multiple CASOs were launched by Handwara Police, Army, CRPF and SSB in which at village area Pazipora Renan Kralgund Handwara, when CASO was started, the said militant tried to pin point the location where he has kept his arms and ammunition. Upon reaching at the disclosed hideout location, the said militant picked up his hidden AK-47 rifle and started firing indiscriminately upon the joint search party which led to an encounter. In the ensuing firefight the said militant got killed.

Incriminating material, arms & ammunitions including one Ak-47, 04 Magazines, Power bank, blanket, medicines, etc were recovered from the said hideout (encounter site), they said.

As per police records, the said militant was a categorized A++ militant and was group commander of militant outfit HM. He was active since 2012 and was involved in several killings in north Kashmir. He had a long militant crime history including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities. He was part of group involved in various militant crimes and several cases were registered against him. He was involved in killing of SPO Mudasir Ahmad Dar of Untoo Hamam Sopore on 28-07-2013, attack on Sarpanch Khazir Mohd Parray of Krankshivan on 26-07-2013, killing of Sarpanch Habib Ullah Mir of Goripora Bomai, attack on Panch Mst Zoona Begum of Hardshiva Sopore, attack on police party at Hygam Sopore along with his associates on 26-04-2013, in which 04 policemen got killed besides, decamped with three weapons of the killed policemen, killing of Hurriyat activists Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman of Iqbal Nagar Sopore & Khursheed Ahamd Bhat of Bomai Sopore, killing of ex-terrorists mehraj-ud-Din Dar of Badambagh Sopore & Aijaz Ahmad Reshi of Mundji Sopore. Besides, he was involved in attacks on various establishments including attack on Hotel Heemal Srinagar, the police statement added.

The killed militant was well acquainted with modern means of communication by which he would communicate with other militants and plan & execute different militant activities on ground. He was instrumental in motivating and recruitment of youth into militant ranks besides was raising funds for promotion of militant activities, they said.

In this connection police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated, reads the statement.

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