Junaid Ashraf Sehrai was divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen
A joint team of security forces in the downtown area of Srinagar Tuesday hit a bull’s eye after they successfully eliminated youngest son of Tehreek-e- Hurriyat Chairman Mohd Ashraf Sehrai in a clean operation in Nawakadal area on Tuesday. It is for the first time son of a topmost separatist leader is killed in an anti-terrorist operation.
The majority of children of separatists leaders are either staying away from Kashmir valley or busy doing government jobs and attending private businesses abroad or studying in foreign universities. But Junaid Ashraf, after completing his MBA from Kashmir University, joined the ranks of Hizbul Mujahideen in March 2018. Around the same time, his father was appointed Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman after ailing Syed Ali Shah Geelani decided to step down from the post.
Indian army has already released a list of 10 top-ranking terrorists along with the new operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Saifullah Mir alias Ghazi Haider.
According to police, at least half a dozen houses in the Nawakadal area of Srinagar suffered damages during operation which lasted nearly 12 hours. The security forces had received a pinpointed information about the presence of top Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in the area. The cordon was laid late Monday night. Shortly before Sehri prayers, the operation was launched around 1.30 a.m and after the initial round of firing and grenade blasts, the security forces waited for the first light to finish the operation.
HM leadership wiped out?
After eliminating Riyaz Naikoo and Tahir Mohd Bhat in two recent operations, elimination of Junaid Ashraf, divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit is seen as a big catch for the security forces in the holy month of Ramzan.
Initially, the month of Ramzan started on a bloody note. Over one dozen terrorists were killed in different operations in South Kashmir district giving security forces an upper hand in anti-terrorist operations in the first week of Ramzan. In the same way, as it is nearing completion now, with Eid festival round the corner, the security forces have upped the ante against the top-ranking terrorists in North and central Kashmir districts to flush them out of their safe hideouts. Indian army has already released a list of 10 top-ranking terrorists along with the new operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Saifullah Mir alias Ghazi Haider.
At the same time, the security forces too suffered heavy damages in these operations. Two back to back strikes by the foreign terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba in the Handwara area led to the killing of a commanding officer of Rashtriya Rifles in the line of duty along with a Major and three soldiers on May 4, 2020. This was followed by another gruesome attack on the CRPF Naka party in Handwara in which three CRPF personnel sacrificed their lives.
According to the Police records, terrorist Junaid before joining terrorist ranks was the mastermind behind the stone-pelting incidents in Srinagar District in general and South/West Zones of District Srinagar in particular.
Junaid Ashraf Sehrai was active in four districts of Kashmir: DGP
Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir police, Dilbagh Singh in Srinagar said, “the operation was launched in downtown areas of Srinagar late on Monday night on the basis of specific input about the presence of terrorists in the area.” During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired on the joint search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.
In the ensuing encounter, 2 terrorists were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The killed terrorists have been identified as Junaid Ahmed Sehrai, Divisional Commander of proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen son of Mohammed Ashraf Khan Sehrai resident of Kupwara at present Srinagar and Tariq Ahmed Sheikh resident of Pulwama also from Hizbul Mujahideen. The killed terrorists as per police records were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit HM and were wanted by law for their complicity in terror crimes and civilian atrocities.
According to the Police records, terrorist Junaid before joining terrorist ranks was the mastermind behind the stone-pelting incidents in Srinagar District in general and South/West Zones of District Srinagar in particular. He was also leading various unruly mobs and created law and order disturbance during anti-terrorist operations. He was involved in instigating the youth to proceed towards encounter sites for making safe passage to holed up terrorists.
According to the police spokesman, “On March 24, 2018, Junaid joined proscribed terrorist outfit HM and since then was involved in many terrorist activities which include indulging in the distribution of drugs and narcotics among youth and was later on using them as his OGWs/couriers.”
A police spokesman said, he was also the master planner for carrying out sensational attacks upon the Police and security forces in order to snatch their weapons. He along with his associates was also involved in a number of subversive activities including Weapon snatching, Bank robberies, attacks on security forces, grenade attacks in South/Central Kashmir areas besides, motivating local youth to join terrorist ranks, especially in HM outfit. He was also involved in collecting funds on the name of the HM terror outfit and was instrumental in strengthening the HM outfit. He was motivating OGWs and local youth for throwing grenades on Security forces.
He along with his associate fired upon one SPO namely Roman Rashid at Khanmohalla, Baghat Barzullah Srinagar in which said SPO got seriously injured. He also fired upon one person namely Manzoor Ahmad Hajam S/o Mohd Amin R/o Khangund Midoora, Tral on the pretext of being a police informer. He also fired upon one Medical Shop owner namely Naseer Ahmad Ganie S/o Bashir Ahmad R/o Amlar Nowpora, Awantipora, who refused to provide the donations to HM outfit. He was also involved in threatening police personnel to leave their jobs, particularly in South Kashmir.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.