SHOPIAN: Eyewitnesses told HT that the militants fired in the air during the wreath-laying ceremony at Fayaz’s house, sparking panic among the people in attendance.
The murder of Kashmiri army officer Ummer Fayaz by suspected militants is a “watershed moment” in the Valley and local residents will turn the tide against “terrorism”, a senior army official said on Wednesday.
Defence minister Arun Jaitley said Fayaz would continue to inspire youth from the Valley.
“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,” he tweeted, hours after the officer’s bullet-riddled body was found in south Kashmir’s Shopian.
“We share the grief of family of Lt. Ummer Fayaz & stand in solidarity. Lt. Ummer Fayaz will continue to inspire youth from the Valley.”
Lieutenant general Abhay Krishna of the Rajputana Rifles said in a statement that the army stood shoulder to shoulder with the bereaved family, hours after the 22-year-old officer’s bullet-riddled body was found in south Kashmir’s Shopian.
Fayaz had returned home to attend a wedding and was reportedly abducted on Tuesday night.
“This marks a watershed moment in Kashmir valley and people of Kashmir will decisively turn the tide against terrorism,” the statement read.
The statement came as panic struck mourners at an official ceremony to honour Fayaz at his home in Kulgam after two gunshots were heard. Eyewitnesses said during the wreath-laying ceremony, minor incidents of stone pelting were also reported near the house.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav also condemned the murder, saying the “brutal killing” exposed the “dastardly nature of terrorism”.
The incident also comes amid increasing tension in the Valley between civilians and security forces following a series of videos that allegedly showed human rights excesses by security forces.__Hindustan Times