Poster containing the photographs of three Hizbul Mujahiddeen militants suspected of killing Kashmiri army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz were put up by the police in Shopian township in south Kashmir on Friday. The police is also offering a reward to anyone who is willing to provide information about the militants. The police has identified the militants as Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker and Gayas-ul-Islam, both belonging to Padderpora village, and Abass Ahmad Bhat from Mantribugh, in Kashmir.
Army officer Lt Fayaz, 22, was abducted on Tuesday and was found shot dead in Shopian district of Kashmir, where he had gone to attend a relative’s marriage ceremony. The incident has sparked outrage in the country even as Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley condoned the incident, calling the attack a “dastardly act of cowardice”.
Lt Fayaz, was a resident of Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was commissioned into the Army last December and was posted in Akhnoor area of Jammu.
The poster issued by the police shows the three gun-wielding militants with the description: “The above criminals who are involved in many terrorist acts including the murder of Umar Fayaz Parray s/o Fayaz Ahmad Parray R/o Sarsona Kulgam…. Any person providing information regarding the above criminals will be suitably rewarded and his identity will be kept secret.”
The Defence Ministry issued a statement on Thursday saying it had identified six militants responsible for the killing and that the they belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen. It further said security forces were carrying out searches in various areas to nab the militants.
A senior police officer linked to the investigation said the Hizbul Mujahiddeen module was behind the killing and an INSAS rifle, which was possibly snatched from the officer, could have been used in the crime.
“We have conducted preliminary investigation… it does point out to (involvement of) a module of Hizbul Mujahideen active in Shopian,” Inspector General of Police Kashmir S J M Gillani had said.
Police had recovered two empty cartridge shells of an INSAS rifle at the place of the crime. “We had two incidents of weapons snatching in south Kashmir recently. We have leads that the Kulgam weapon snatching was carried out by Lashkar militants while Hizb militants were involved in weapon snatching at Shopian court complex (on May 2).
“So it could be one of those weapons. We are looking at it,” added the police officer.