Kashmir militants kill unarmed Kulgam Army officer on leave

Militants killed an unarmed Army officer on leave after kidnapping him in south Kashmir’s volatile Shopian district, the Army said on Wednesday.

“In a dastardly act, some terrorists on Tuesday abducted and killed a young unarmed officer who had come on leave to his native place in Kulgam district,” said a Srinagar based Army spokesman.

He identified the deceased officer as Lt. Ummer Fayyaz and was currently posted at Akhnoor in Jammu region. The officer had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his maternal uncle at Batapura area.

Preliminary reports suggest the officer was abducted around 10 p.m on Tuesday near Behibagh, Shopian. “The bullet ridden body was spotted in Harmein area in the morning,” said Army sources.

Born in 1994, the deceased joined the Army on December 10, 2016 and belonged to 2 Rajput Rifles. An ex-National Defence Academy member, Lt. Ummer Fayyaz was known for skills in hockey and basketball. Son of a farmer, who owns an orchard in south Kashmir, the deceased was likely to attend the Young Officers Training course in September this year.

“The Army commits to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice,” said the Army spokesman.

Stating that the young officer was a “role model,” Defence Minister Arun Jaitley called his abduction and killing a “dastardly act of cowardice.”

“Lt. Ummer Fayaz of 2 RAJRIF was an exceptional sportsman, his sacrifice reiterates nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley,” he said in a tweet.

Lt. Gen Abhay Krishna, Army Commander South Western Command and Colonel Commandant of Rajputana Rifles in a condolence letter condemned the “cowardice and barbaric act of terrorism.”

Stating that the complete Army fraternity stands shoulder to shoulder with the bereaved family at this tragic hour, Lt Gen Krishna said, “I also assure the family that perpetrators of this heinous crime and dastardly act will not be spared.

“This marks a watershed moment in the Kashmir valley and people of Kashmir will decisively turn the tide against terrorism,” he said in the letter.