The militant who was allegedly involved in the murder of two sisters in Sopore on the night of January 31 has been killed in an encounter with police.
The encounter began on Saturday morning in Sopore, 50 km north of Srinagar. Apart from the sisters’ reported killer, Waseem Ahmad Ganai alias Sheruni, who, police said, was self-styled district commander of Lashkar-e-Tayeeba (LeT), Harkat-ul-Mujahideen divisional commander Chota Kalimullah also died in the exchange of fire on Saturday.
Ganai’s body was found on Sunday.
“The militant involved in the killing of two sisters has been killed in the encounter with police and the security forces in the same locality (where the sisters were killed). The bullet-ridden body of Waseem Ahmad Ganai was recovered this morning (Sunday) at the encounter site, when the searches in the area were conducted,” a police spokesman said.
“A large cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered,” he said.
Some gunmen who could not be identified then had abducted sisters Akhtera, 20, and Arifa, 17, residents of the Muslimpeer area of Sopore, from their home and killed both of them. Police had then blamed LeT militants for the killings though the outfit had denied responsibility for the act.
Responding to the call of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Sopore saw a shutdown in the same week in protest against the killings. Geelani had given the shutdown call after people had assembled in Srinagar, “deploring his silence over the killings”. A wave of protests swept across the valley.