A top commander of proscribed terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen was killed during an encounter between the terrorists and security forces in North Kashmir's Handwara on Wednesday.
Mehraj-ud-din Halwai alias Ubiad was active in North Kashmir for several years and was involved in many acts of terror.
The police in a statement said, "On Tuesday, the police along with SSB during a routine 'Naka' (checkpoint) checking regarding the enforcement of Covid 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 terrorist commander of proscribed terror outfit HM," police said.
Police also said that on his disclosure, multiple Cordon And Search Operations (CASOs) were launched by the Handwara Police, Army, CRPF and SSB. When CASO was started, the said terrorist tried to pinpoint the location where he had kept his arms and ammunition hidden.
"Upon reaching the disclosed hideout location, the said terrorist 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 terrorist got killed," police said.
Police said incriminating material, arms and ammunition, including one Ak-47, four magazines, power bank, blanket, medicines, etc., were recovered from the said hideout (encounter site).
Police said as per its records, the said terrorist was a categorized A++ terrorist and was a group commander of the proscribed terror outfit HM. He was active since 2012 and was involved in several killings in North Kashmir.
"He had a long terror crime history, including attacks on police/security Forces and civilian atrocities. He was part of the group involved in various terror 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 4 policemen got killed and decamped with three weapons of the killed policemen, killing of Hurriyat activists Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman of Iqbal Nagar Sopore and Khursheed Ahamd Bhat of Bomai Sopore.
"He was also involved in the killing of former terrorists Mehraj-ud-Din Dar of Badambagh Sopore and Aijaz Ahmad Reshi of Mundji Sopore. Besides, he was involved in attacks on various establishments, including on Hotel Heemal Srinagar," the police said.
According to the police, he was well acquainted with modern means of communication by which he would communicate with other terrorists and plan and execute different terror activities on ground.
"He was instrumental in motivating and recruitment of youth into terrorist ranks and was raising funds for the promotion of terrorist activities," police said.
Police have registered a case under relevant sections of the law and investigation has been initiated.