Srinagar, Oct 29 (UNI) Two brothers of a village in north Kashmir's Kupwara district were killed by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants while trying to protect the honour of their family, the Army said today.
A defence spokesman said 25-year-old Mohammad Hafiz and 20-year-old Mohammad Matloob, both sons of Ghulam Rabbani Gegi of Doruswain village, Sogam in Lolab area of Kupwara district, were killed by a group of Lashkar militants, led by Abu Saad, a Pakistani national on October 24.
He said Hafiz was being targeted by Lashkar militants for a long time now. It all started when Saad along with few accomplices came to Gegi's house a year ago in search of food and shelter.
The spokesman said the family was too scared to resist and provided food and shelter as sought by the militants.
''However, Hafiz soon realised that Saad had set his evil eyes on his younger sister. He resisted Saad's overtures. While compromising the family honour was out of question, the brothers knew that they were no match to the gun-wielding Saad and his group,'' he added.
The spokesman said Hafiz and Matloob, fearing the worst, left the village along with their sister. ''When Saad realised that his evil designs have been foiled, he was furious. With a bruised ego and gun in his hand, he decided to wreak vengeance on the brothers.'' He said Hafiz and Matloob incurred Saad's wrath by refusing to submit to his desire. ''Passage of time resulted in complacency on the part of Hafiz and Matloob who decided to return home for Eid.
However, Saad had not forgotten the humiliation received several months ago. The brothers had defied his writ which was intolerable,'' the spokesman added.
On October 24, he said while the villagers had gathered near a water point at Mir Mohalla in the village in a festive mood, Saad found his opportunity to get even with the two brothers.
''The militants came quietly from the jungle and caught the brothers unawares. They shot Hafiz and Matloob several times before disappearing into the jungle,'' the spokesman said.
He said the villagers tried to evacuate the brothers to a hospital, but both of them succumbed to wounds enroute. ''Gegi is in a state of deep shock as he tries to come to terms with the loss of his two sons,'' the spokesman added.
He said the people of the area have expressed deep anguish and resentment at the killing of the two brothers by the militants.
''Hafiz and Matloob paid a very high price trying to safeguard their family's honour. Their killing snuffed out all the hopes that the family may have harboured of being pulled out of penury as the two young men got ready to work,'' the spokesman added.
''As Gegi gets ready to spend rest of his years without his sons, he hopes that one day Saad will pay the price for this brutal murder. It will not bring back his children but for the old father, justice would have been done,'' he said.
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