A 17-year-old youth was abducted from a village in Shopian and killed by militants in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday night. Police said that the youth’s bullet-riddled body was found in Pulwama’s Niklora village.
A statement issued by the Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday identified the dead youth as Nadeem Manzoor, a resident of Safanagri village in Shopian. The statement said that a case has been registered and an investigation has started.
Terming the killing “a brutal act of terror”, the police said the civilian was kidnapped on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday by militants and was later killed.
The youth’s family members said that a group of gunmen entered their house on Thursday night when Nadeem was not at home. “When he came back, we told him that some people were looking for him. He again went out and was kidnapped. Later, we came to know that he has been killed and his body has been found,” Nadeem’s cousin told The Indian Express.
The family members said Nadeem was not involved in any suspicious activity. “We don’t know who killed him. But, we are sure he was innocent,” the cousin said. “If he was killed by militants, they should tell us why they killed him.”
Nadeem, who had recently appeared for his Class XI exam, is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
The Safanagri village in Shopian is located very close to the Niklora area in Pulwama, where Nadeem’s body was found.
Earlier this month, an encounter between militants and security forces took place in Safanagri and two militants affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in the gunfight.
On Thursday night, soon after Nadeem’s body was found, the police launched a search
in the village to nab militants. However, no arrests were made.
On Friday evening, an unauthenticated video went viral in the Valley, showing unknown gunmen firing at a man at an undisclosed location. Some reports have identified the man as Nadeem.
Police officers said they are verifying the video. “I have just seen it (the video). We are verifying it. I cannot comment on it unless we verify the content,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Law and Order and Security, Munir Ahmad Khan told The Indian Express.
In an audio message, also circulated on Friday evening, Hizbul Mujahideen’s operations’ chief Riyaz Naikoo said that their “do or die squad” found the informer of the encounter (in Safanagri).