One of them, Liyaqat, was involved in killing of Hurriyat activist and rape of minor local girl: Police
Handwara: Two local militants were killed in a brief gunfight with government forces in Langate area of north Kashmir’s police district Handwara on Tuesday.
Official reports said that a joint team of army’s 30 RR, paramilitary CRPF, and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off Galoora village in Langate Handwara in the wee hours of Tuesday, on specific information of presence of a group of two militants. As the government forces reached near the suspected spot, the militants tried to break the cordon, triggering a brief gunfight in which both of them were killed.
The slain militants were identified as Liyaqat Ahmad Lone, son of Gulam Mohiuddin Lone of Harwan area of Sopore, and Furqan Rashid Lone of Shartpora in Langate Handwara. The forces claimed that they recovered large quantity of arms and ammunition from their possession.
Liyaqat had reportedly joined militant ranks in July this year. According to local sources, Liyaqat had spent about two years in jail before he joined militant ranks. He was the father of three children.
Furqan Rashid Lone, also known as Adil Bhai, reportedly joined militant ranks in June this year. He was studying in Class 12 before he joined militancy.
Local sources said that a civilian, Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani, who owned a nearby house, was hit by a bullet in his leg during the gunfight. However, SSP Handwara Asheesh Mishra denied these reports and said the civilian was not injured by a bullet but had sustained minor injuries at his home for some other reason.
“The said civilian got minor injuries somehow at his home and not by bullet,” SSP Mishra said.
Police in a statement on the Handwara encounter said that the two killed militants were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba. The statement said that Furqan Rashid Lone was wanted in a number of criminal cases registered at Police Station Handwara and Liyaqat Ahmad Lone had a long history of involvement in terror activities and was wanted in a number of criminal cases registered at Police Station Bomai, including a case of kidnapping and rape of a minor local girl.
The statement also said that Liyaqat along with LeT militants Gani Khawaja, resident of Kralgund, and Majid Mir, resident of Nowpora Sopore, was involved in the killing of Hurriyat (G) activist Hakim-ur-Rehman Sultani, resident of Bomai, on 08-09-2018.
Internet services were snapped in Handwara police district after the killing of the local militants. The authorities also suspended class work in Government Degree College Handwara, Higher Secondary School Langate, and Higher Secondary School Handwara and Mawar.
Soon after the news of the killing of two Lashkar militants reached Langate town, a large number of people, mostly local youths, took to the streets, They blocked the Baramulla-Handwara road and clashed with government forces. The clashes continued throughout the day with youths hurling stones and rocks at forces and the forces firing dozens of tear smoke shells.
At least six persons including some policemen sustained minor injuries during the clashes.
A complete shutdown was observed in Langate and Handwara towns in the wake of the militants’ killing.
The bodies of the slain militants were handed over to their relatives at about 4pm. Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of Furqan Rashid at his native village Langate, where he was buried in the local martyrs’ graveyard.