Army vows to punish killers of Kashmiri officer

NEW DELHI, May 10:
The Army today vowed to punish the killers of young Kashmiri Lieutenant Umar Fayaz and said the incident marks a watershed moment in Kashmir valley as people there will decisively turn the tide against terrorism.
Calling the attack a “dastardly act of cowardice” by militants, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said Fayaz’s sacrifice reiterates the nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley.
The bullet-riddled body of 22-year-old Fayaz was found in Harmen area of Shopian district in South Kashmir this morning, hours after he was abducted by militants from Batapora village where he had gone to attend his cousin’s wedding.
“I assure the family that the perpetrators of this heinous crime and dastardly act will not be spared,” Lt Gen Abhay Krishna, General Officer Commanding-in Chief of South Western Command and Colonel of Rajputana Rifles, said, in a condolence message to the family of Fayaz.
Fayaz, hailing from Kulgam district in South Kashmir, was with Rajputana Rifles and had taken leave to attend the wedding. He was commissioned into the Army on December 10 last year and according to his colleagues, he was popular for his simplicity and honesty.
Lt Gen Krishna said people of Kashmir will have to rise collectively and hit back at the “cowards and perpetrators” of the heinous crime, adding they can no longer tolerate such tragic losses of their “beloved sons”.
“This marks a watershed moment in Kashmir valley and people of Kashmir will decisively turn the tide against terrorism,” he said, conveying to family of Fayaz that the Army stands shoulder-to-shoulder with it.
Expressing anguish over the killing of the young officer Jaitley said Fayaz would continue to inspire youth from Kashmir.
“Abduction & murder of Lt. Ummer Fayaz by terrorists in Shopian is a dastardly act of cowardice. This young officer from J&K was a role model,” Jaitley said in a tweet.
“Fayaz was an exceptional sportsman, his sacrifice reiterates nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley.”
It 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 killing caused anger among locals who demanded that the men responsible should be identified and punished.
Army officers posted with Rajputana Rifles said Fayaz was loved by his colleagues and he was known for immaculately performing the alloted tasks
His father, a farmer, has a small apple business. Fayaz was part of the hockey team of NDA and was also an excellent volleyball player. (PTI)


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