In an act of rare courage, a family put up resistance and killed a top-ranking Lashkar-e-Taiba militant who, along with two others, intruded into its house in Rajouri and attacked the occupants on Sunday night.

The family snatched from them two AK 47 rifles, which it later handed over to the police.

The three militants knocked at the door of Noor Ahmad at Shahdara Sharief around 9.30 p.m., but the family, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Shafqat Ali Watali, did not open the door. The militants then approached the house of Ahmad’s brother, Waqalat Hussain, only to barge eventually into his house, and they started beating up the occupants.

However, Ahmad’s son Aijaz and daughter Rukhsana mustered courage and hit back with lathis and axes.

At this, two militants fled, one of them injured, but the top ranking militant, identified as Abu Osama by the police, could not escape the family’s wrath. He was first hit with axes and then fired upon with his own rifle.

Noor Ahmad told journalists in Rajouri that the militants were enquiring his daughter about a case of alleged rape by two local civilians. The case was two months-old and, according to the police, dismissed by court after the girl herself admitted that no one had raped her.

Waqalat Hussain, who was injured when the intruders fired a few shots, said the gunmen were also enquiring about the character of Noor’s daughter and they repeatedly asked, “Why did you first approach police and then withdraw the case?”

Mr. Watali said Abu Osama was a Pakistani national and had been operating in the area for the last 4 years.

After autopsy, the body was buried in a graveyard. He lauded the family for its courage.

To honour family

The police posted a 17-member guard, headed by a sub-inspector, at the houses of Noor Ahmad and his brother to thwart any revenge bid by the militants. “We will soon honour the family and it is our duty to protect them,” Mr. Watali told The Hindu over telephone from Rajouri.

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