JKLF Founder Amanullah Khan Dead At 82

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JKLF Founder Amanullah Khan Dead At 82

Born in Gilgit on August 24, 1934, Amanullah Khan formed the JKLF in 1977.

Srinagar:  Amanullah Khan, one of the founders of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front that led a violent campaign for independent Kashmir, including the killing of an Indian diplomat in the UK in the mid-80s and hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore, died today in Pakistan, which he made his home for three decades.

Amanullah Khan, 80, died in a hospital in the garrison city of Rawalpindi after suffering health complications linked to a lung disease. He was hospitalised about three weeks ago.

A prominent Kashmiri leader, who was based in London before being deported to Pakistan in 1986, Amanullah Khan was believed to have been the mastermind in the killing of Ravindra Mhatre, the number two in the Indian Consulate in Birmingham in 1984.

Mr Mhatre was abducted and killed in an attempt to secure the release from prison of the group's founder Maqbool Bhat who was hanged to death in 1984 in Tihar jail.

In 1971, Maqbool Bhat was accused of masterminding the hijacking of a passenger Airline to Lahore and the hijackers declared affiliation with JKLF under his leadership. After his arrest and release in Pakistan, Maqbool Bhat sneaked into India where he was soon captured.

Though Amanullah Khan had set up JKLF in 1977, he was relegated to the background after terrorist groups established their dominance in Kashmir with a bloody campaign that began in the late 80s.

Amanullah Khan was born in Astore area of Kashmir's Gilgit region, currently known as Gilgit-Baltistan.

His funeral prayer will be offered tomorrow in the historic Liaquat Bagh park of Rawalpindi. It is not clear where he will be buried.

He is survived by his only daughter Asma, who is married to Kashmiri separatist leader Sajjad Ghani Lone.


(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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