Apprehended at checkpoint, he later took police to his hideout where he picked up his AK-47 rifle and opened fire: Police
Handwara: A top Hizb ul Mujahideen commander was killed in a brief gunfight with government forces in north Kashmir’s police district Handwara on Wednesday morning, police said. The commander was said to be the one of the oldest militant commanders surviving in north Kashmir.
Soon after the killing of the militant, police issued a statement saying that on 6th of July afternoon, police along with SSB during routine naka checking to enforce Covid 19 appropriate behaviour at Watyen Handwara had stopped a number of vehicles.
“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 the nearest police post for questioning. During questioning, he identified himself as Mehraj-ud-din Halwai alias Ubaid Son of Abdul Khaliq, a resident of Khushal Mattoo Sopore, an active militant commander of Hizbul Mujahideen,” police said.
Police said that on his disclosure, multiple CASOs were launched by police, army, CRPF and SSB including one at village Pazipora Renan in Kralgund Handwara.
“When CASO was started, he tried to pinpoint the location where he had kept his arms and ammunition. Upon reaching the disclosed hideout location, he (Ubaid) 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 he got killed,” police said.
As per the statement, Ubaid was a categorised A++ militant and was group commander of Hizb ul Mujahideen. “He was active since 2012 and was involved in several killings in north Kashmir,” police said.
The police statement further read, “He had a long terror crime history including attacks on police, security forces and civilian atrocities. He was part of a group involved in various 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-militants mehraj-ud-Din Dar of Badambagh Sopore & Aijaz Ahmad Reshi of Mundji Sopore. Besides, he was involved in attacks on various establishments including the attack on Hotel Heemal Srinagar.”
In this connection police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated, it added.
Local sources said that a partial shutdown was observed in Sopore town on Wednesday morning against the killing of Mehrajuddin, but later normal life resumed in the town.