Army officer’s murder a ‘watershed moment’ in Kashmir

Srinagar: 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 told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley, in a tweet, 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 Harmein area of south Kashmir’s Shopian.

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, the report said.

“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 killing incident of the army officer comes amid increasing tension in the Valley between civilians and security forces. The student protests continue unabated in different parts of the Valley, leaving the government with only one option of the closure of educational institutes.

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