Picture above: Dead bodies of Arifa and Akhtar.
It is over five years the two teenage sisters named Arifa, 17, and Akhtar, 19, were kidnapped and gunned down by “Lashkar-e-Taiba”, a Pakistan based Islamic militant terrorist group in in Indian-controlled northern Kashmir, bordering Pakistan.
The victims were the daughters of Gulam Nabi Dar, who was working as a salesman of a government ration shop.
The girls were illiterates, but doing embroidery works as well as attending classes to learn read and write in an adult education center which was run by an underground ministries of the “Bibles for Mideast (http://bibles4mideast.com)”. Though they were Muslims, they believed in Jesus Christ and attend prayer services and began to read the New Testament.
Once, Pastor Paul, who is the Director of Bibles for Mideast and also a converted Christian from Islam shared his testimony along with the message of the gospel in that small community. After the message Arifa and Akhtar together read Isaiah Chapter 53 and declared their faith in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their Savior and Lord.
The very next day evening they were shot dead after abduction by at least three gunmen.
Certainly, the militants might have come to know about the underground ministries and the girls’ involvement in its activities.
Militants barged into the house and forcibly took the girls, Their bullet riddled bodies were later found some distance away from their home. One of them was shot in the left eye.
Police sources said that the gunmen managed to escape under the cover of darkness.
The teenagers family was living in two rooms and their father was not yet reached back home from his work place.
Picture: Arifa and Akhtar.
At time of incident there were two other women, both aunts of Arifa and Akhtar in the house, besides a young girl, and a relative who had come to visit the family. The women raised an alarm and ran after the gunmen, but stopped following threats from the gunmen. Their elder brother was living with his maternal uncles house at another village while as their younger brother was at home when they were abducted and brutally murdered.
“One of the gunmen was covered his face by a black muffler. Only his eyes were visible. Two others followed him. They were speaking Urdu. One spoke a few words in Kashmiri,” said their younger brother Gulam Jeelani.
After this incident, local missionary Pastor Idris and his assistant were attacked with steel pipes. Pastor’s legs were broken. Pastor Paul and family also threatened to kill and brutally attacked three times.
Lashkar-e-Taiba, or the ‘Army of the Righteous’, seeks to introduce an Islamic state in South Asia and to “liberate” Muslims in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
India has identified the group as the alleged masterminds behind the 2008 terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai that killed 166 people.