Srinagar: A young army officer was kidnapped in Kashmir by terrorists from a wedding on Tuesday night and shot dead. Umar Fayyaz, a Lieutenant, had joined the army five months ago. His body was found in Shopian with bullets in his head and abdomen.
The officer was on leave and had gone for his cousin’s wedding at Kulgaon in south Kashmir when he was kidnapped around 10 pm.
“Young and full of life, the officer was just commissioned in December,” say army sources.
According to sources, the killing marks a worrying trend of terrorists targeting army officers even when they are off duty.
An advisory was recently put out by the state police asking its personnel not to visit ancestral homes, especially in south Kashmir areas.
There has been a spike in militant activities in most districts of south Kashmir including, Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam.
In South Kashmir, local support has been seen for terrorists who have been openly roaming the countryside. The police say more than the terrorists, the public support for them is a bigger problem for the security forces who have frequently encountered resistance from crowds while fighting terrorists.
Last Thursday, security forces carried out a huge anti-terror operation — monitored from air by helicopters and unmanned vehicles — across two dozen villages in Shopian. At its fag end, a sudden strike by terrorists killed one civilian and injured two soldiers. Even on that day, the forces encountered resistance from locals in at least four villages.
Two days later, a policeman, Azhar Mehmood, was killed in Anantnag along with three civilians by Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Fayaz Ahmad Aishwar.
Azhar Mehmood was attacked while he and other policemen were regulating traffic after a road accident.
In another incident last week, terrorists killed five policemen and two private guards in Kulgam after dragging them out of a cash van.