Srinagar, Asharq Al-Awsat- India- Villagers in the border provinces of Jammu and Kashmir are being targeted by militants who raid their homes and demand food.
In the latest attack on civilians, foreign fighters belonging to Lashkar e Tayyaba, broke into the home of 45 year old Ashou Begum, on Wednesday night, in a village in Rajouri, demanding to be served hot food.
When the meal did not suit their tastes, the militants shot the hostess and killed her, injuring her two sons and daughter who are battling for their lives in hospital.
The children, Mohd Azam, Mohd Shafiq and Nusrat Akhtar, told the police they were awoken in the middle of the night by fighters insisting their mother cook dinner for them; the men were enraged when the hostess presented them a vegetarian meal and shot her.
Earlier this year, an eight-year-old named Qasim lost his father who only offered dry corn bread to visiting militants at their home in Darhal, also in Rajouri.
Locals have often complained that foreign fighters, mostly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan, do not offer any payment for the meals and request cattle be slaughtered. When goats and sheep are unavailable, the militants demand their evening meal be prepared with pure ghee.
Poor villagers are increasingly leaving the mountainous areas along the poorly demarcated border to evade the militants.
Mustaq Ali originally migrated from Mendhar in the Ponch region after being forced to slaughter his herd of sheep for a group of 30 militants, two years ago, and being accused by security forces of assisting the fighters.