Srinagar: Militants abducted and killed a 22-year-old Kashmiri Army officer in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district where he had gone to attend a wedding.
Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, 22, who hailed from Sursona village in Kashmir's Kulgam district, was commissioned exactly five months back in the Army.
Fayaz, son of a farmer and an avid sportsman, had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his maternal uncle at Batapura from where he was abducted by the militants at around 10 pm last night, officials said.
On his first leave since joining the Army, he had reached Batpura yesterday morning from Akhnoor in Jammu region where he was posted with 2 Rajputana Rifles.
How officer was abducted and killed:
Locals said three militants entered the house where the wedding function was underway and asked Fayaz to accompany them. He was supposed to return to his unit on May 25.
The militants threatened the family members against informing the police or the Army, because of which they did not report it to anybody.
His bullet-riddled body was found at around 6.30 am today in Harmen village, about three kms from his house, the officials said.
The body, which had been kept at a bus stop, had bullet marks in the head and the chest. He had been fired at from a close range.
The autopsy report showed marks on his body, indicating that he had resisted the militants who abducted him, the officials said.
The body of Fayaz, who would have turned 23 on June 6, was laid to rest with full military honours in his native village, with hundreds of people attending the funeral.
Army pays tribute, vows to punish killers:
"This marks a watershed moment in the Kashmir Valley and people of Kashmir will decisively turn the tide against terrorism," said Lt Gen Abhay Krishna, Colonel of Rajputana Rifles and General Officer Commanding in Chief of the South Western Command, as per IANS.
He added that the people of Kashmir will have to rise collectively and hit back at the "cowards and perpetrators" of the heinous crime.
The Kashmiris can no longer tolerate such tragic losses of their "beloved sons", Lt Gen Krishna said.
Assuring the family that "perpetrators of the heinous crime and dastardly act will not be spared", he said, "the complete Army fraternity stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the bereaved family at this tragic hour," as per PTI.
Kashmiri officer's killing is dastardly act of cowardice, says Jaitley
On the other hand, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley called it a dastardly act of cowardice by terrorists.
"We share the grief of the family and stand in solidarity. (The officer) will continue to inspire the youth from the Kashmir Valley," he tweeted.
"His sacrifice reiterates the nation's commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley," he said.
— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) May 10, 2017
An advisory was earlier issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Police asking its personnel not to visit ancestral homes, especially in south Kashmir areas.
There has been a spike in militant activity in south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam.
(With Agency inputs)