Sopore girl’s wedding turns into mourning as brother dies in Handwara gunfight

The wedding of sister of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Liyaqat Ahmad Lone at village Harwan in Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district turned into mourning after body of her militant brother, who was killed in a gunfight in Handwara in Kupwara, was brought to his native place.
The tent for arrival of Liyaqat’s sister bridegroom was still intact when body of LeT militant reached his ancestral village at Harwan, Sopore.
The pall of gloom descended on the entire area.
Rubeena, the militant’s sister who was to get married today, said Liyaqat’s torturous life finally came to an end.
Sitting in a corner, Rubeena wearing a wedding dress said, “I was waiting for him to apply Mehandi on my hands but he instead applied his blood on my hands. However, I am happy because Liyaqat chose a righteous way. His torturous life has finally come to an end. We received a call at around 8:30 am and relatives informed us about his killing”.
Rubeena, who is younger sister of Liyaqat, said the excesses committed by troops forced her brother to join militancy again despite having three kids.
“He could not bear such a life and eventually again took up a gun. Before joining militancy, police used to harass him on different pretexts. In a single year, he was arrested for two to three months. When you harass someone that person has no option but to pick up a gun. My brother had half a dozen FIRs lodged against him by police,” she said.
Liyaqat, according to family, went for arms training to Pakistan in August 2001 and returned in 2004. “He later surrendered before forces in 2005.”
Liyaqat’s brother Javid Ahmad Lone, who got married yesterday, said after surrendering before forces in 2005 he was living a normal life.
“Liyaqat was doing fruit business. However, police used to harass him. Be it stone pelting, elections or any militant action in the area, police used to detained Liyaqat and interrogate him. The torture and harassment forced him to join militancy again,” he said.
Liyaqat is survived by mother, wife, two sisters, brothers and 3 kids — two daughters Maryam (9), Farhat-un-Nisa (6) and son Diyanat-ul-Islam (2).
Liyaqat went missing nine months ago and gun wielding picture had gone viral July 8.
No singing was going around as Rubeena and other family members were was sitting in a corner of a room in complete silence.
“We had also planned to hold marriage ceremony of Rubeena today. Four people were supposed to come. But instead of celebrating this moment, we are mourning death of our son. What else can be called as grief,” said Taja Begum, the mother of Liyaqat.
Thousands of people gathered at Liyaqat’s house when news about his killing in an encounter in Handwara spread.
Police, however, refuted family’s version of forcing Liyaqat to join militant ranks.