Lt. Ummer Fayaz martyred: How 23-year-old Army officer's first leave became his last
Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, the young Army officer from Kashmir, was on his first leave after joining the armed forces, when he was abducted by militants. Fayaz, 23, had taken the leave to attend a wedding function in the troubled region of Kulgam district.
The young Lieutenant was posted with 2 Rajputana Rifles and had applied for leave to attend a cousin's wedding.
He was on leave when he was picked up from his house at Harmein in Kulgam, 60 kilometres from from Srinagar, last night. The body of the young officer was later found three kilometres from his house.
Fayaz, who studied at Navodaya Vidyalaya, a branch of government schools for gifted students, at Ashmuquam in South Kashmir, joined the Army after being commissioned in December last year. He belonged to the 129th batch of cadets from the prestigious Pune-based National Defence Academy.
This was for the first time that he had taken leave after joining the Army, a senior official said. He was supposed to have returned to his unit in the Akhnoor area of Jammu on May 25.
The autopsy report showed marks on his body, indicating that he had resisted the suspected militants who had abducted him.
He was fired at from close range, and the bullets had hit his head and stomach or chest region.
Locals said two masked men entered the house at 8 last night. The men asked Lt Fayaz, who was unarmed, to accompany them, and warned the family not to inform the police.
The killing caused anger among locals who demanded that the men responsible be identified and punished.
Major General B S Raju, the General Officer in Command of the Victor Force, responsible for counter-terrorism in South Kashmir, has directed all its units in and around the area to launch a manhunt for the killers.
The body of the officer was laid to rest with full military honours. His funeral was attended by several people from his village.
Killing of young Kashmiri officer an act of cowardice, says Arun Jaitley
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley described the abduction and killing as "a dastardly act" of cowardice.
"Abduction and murder of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz by terrorists in Shopian is a dastardly act of cowardice. This young officer from Jammu and Kashmir was a role model," Jaitley tweeted.
"Lt Ummer Fayaz of 2RAJRIF (Rajputana Rifles) was an exceptional sportsman, his sacrifice reiterates the nation's commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley," he said.
"We share the grief of the family of Lt Ummer Fayaz and stand in solidarity. Lt Ummer Fayaz will continue to inspire youth from the Valley," the Minister added.
Mehbooba Mufti condemns killing of young Kashmiri Army officer
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killing of the young Army officer from Kulgam.
"What was more painful to note is that the young officer had come home on vacation where he was attending the marriage of his cousin," Mufti said in a statement.
The chief minister conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family of Lt Fayaz and prayed for his eternal solace.