Millennium Post

Pak-backed ultras kill another Indian soldier; Army vows action

A young Kashmiri army officer on leave was abducted and shot dead by militants in Shopian district where he had gone to attend a wedding function, triggering anger among the locals who demanded action against the killers. Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, 22, who hailed from Sursona village in Kulgam district, had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his maternal uncle at Batapura, about 74 km from here, from where he was abducted by the militants at around 10 pm on Tuesday night, officials said.

The family members did not inform the police or the Army about the abduction of the unarmed officer as the militants had threatened them against doing so. His bullet-riddled body was found Thursday morning in Harmen area, about 3 km from his house, the officials said.

The autopsy report showed marks on his body, indicating that he had resisted the militants who abducted him, the officials said. He was fired at from a close range, and the bullets had hit his head and stomach or chest region.

Locals said that two masked men entered the house and asked Fayaz, who was unarmed, to accompany them. The killing caused anger among locals who demanded that the men responsible be identified and punished.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley described the abduction and killing as "a dastardly act" of cowardice. "This young officer from J&K was a role model," Jaitley said in a tweet.

Fayaz, described by top army officials as a promising officer, was commissioned in the army's Rajputana Rifles regiment in December last year and was availing the leave for the first time to attend the marriage. He was supposed to return to his unit in Akhnoor area of Jammu on May 25.

His family members told the police that they did not inform anybody about the abduction as they were hopeful of his release after a possible warning, which has been the case with policemen in the region, senior officials said.

The body of the officer was laid to rest with full military honours. His funeral was attended by several people from his village.

Born on June 8, 1994, Fayaz had studied at Navodaya Vidyalaya, a branch of government schools for gifted students, at Ashmuquam in South Kashmir. He belonged to the 129th batch of cadets from the prestigious Pune-based National Defence Academy.

This was the first time that he had taken leave after joining the Army, a senior official said.
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