Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday termed the abduction and killing of an Army officer posted in Jammu-Kashmir as “a dastardly act of cowardice”. In a series of tweets, Jaitley posted on Twitter: “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.”
The officer, identified as Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, was abducted by militants from his relative’s house in Shopian district. Police later found his bullet-riddled body in Harmain area of Shopian on Wednesday morning.
Reiterating the Centre’s commitment to eliminate “terrorism” from the Valley, Jaitley said Fayaz’s sacrifice will continue to inspire the youth. “Lt. Ummer Fayaz of 2RAJRIF was an exceptional sportsman, his sacrifice reiterates nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley. We share the grief of family of Lt. Ummer Fayaz & stand in solidarity. Lt. Ummer Fayaz will continue to inspire youth from the Valley,” Jaitley tweeted.
Fayaz, who hails from Kulgam district, was posted in Jammu’s Akhnoor area. He was inducted into the Army’s infantry division only last December.
“In a dastardly act, some unidentified terrorists yesterday abducted and then killed a young Army officer, Lt Umer Fayaz,” an army official told news agency PTI.
Fayaz was on leave to attend a wedding in the family. His body was buried with state honours in Sursun.
“The Army salutes the braveheart and stands by the bereaved family in this hour of tragedy,” the official said, adding, “we are committed to bring the perpetrators of this heinous act of terror to justice”.
Fayaz, an ex-National Defence Academy (NDA) cadet, was scheduled to go for a ‘Young Officers Course’ in September. At NDA, he was part of the hockey team. The officer’s father is a farmer and has a small-time apple business.
Condemning the death, Minister of State (Home) Hansraj Ahir said, “Let’s see what comes out in the investigation. They will get a befitting reply.”