May 2017 News

Ummer Fayaz Murdered By Militants In Kashmir: Indian Army Officer's Funeral Sparks Protests In Valley

10 May 2017

Srinagar: An army officer was reportedly assasinated by militants on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district. The body of the Lieutenant rank officer was found with bullet wounds in Hermain area of Shopian district in south Kashmir, police sources told PTI. The slain army officer, was identified as Ummer Fayaz Parry who was posted in Akhnoor, according to News18. Hailing from neighbouring Kulgam district, Fayaz had gone to Shopian to attend the marriage function of a relative. The report further said that 11 injury marks were found on the army officer's body. Meanwhile, clashes broke out during the funeral proceedings of Fayaz as villagers pelted stones at the army and policemen who were present at the funeral, according to CNN-News18. The news channel reported that the protesters were apparently miffed with the Indian Army trying to give the slain soldier a proper state burial. Even as the police tried to bring the clashes at Fayaz's hometown under control, politics runs askew as parties traded barbs over the issue. BJP leader Ram Madhav, who was the point person for the BJP-PDP alliance, said, 'People understand that these militants are loyal to no one and they kill their own people in the most dastardly and brutal ways. This is an act of absolute cowardice and I condemn it. The perpetrators will be brought to the books.' National Conference leader Junaid Mattu blamed the government for the incident stating that not only the incident was reminiscent of early 1990s but it also showed how the current government has maligned the mainstream politics and reduced people's faith in it. Mattu offered his condolence to the bereaved family. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley also condemned Fayaz's killing and offered his condolence to his family. Fayaz, commissioned in the Indian Army only in December last year was only 22. His friends from the National Defence Academy recalled that he was a cheerful, agile young man who was extremely fond of sports. He also played on the NDA's volleyball team and was quite popular in his hometown. A few months ago, Fayaz was invited to inaugurate a school in Kulgam. According to CNN-News18, Fayaz was abducted from the function and later murdered. This incident stokes concerns as thus far militants have been indulging in direct face-offs with the security forces. However, targetting army officers, when off duty, and murdering them is not very common. There has been a spike in militant activities in most districts of south Kashmir including, Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam. News18 reported that the Jammu and Kashmir police has been on a high alert in south Kashmir after increased incidents of militancy. An advisory was also issued by the state police asking its personnel not to visit ancestral homes, especially in south Kashmir areas till it was withdrawn. Fayaz was reportedly picked up by five to six militants from his relative's house in south Kashmir's Shopian on Tuesday nigh and later taken to Herman Chowk where he was shot. An army official in Srinagar said that they have received an input and are verifying the circumstances in which the officer was found dead. The security forces have launched search operations in the area to nab the militants.