KULGAM: A young Kashmiri lieutenant-rank army officer, Umar Fayaz Parray, was found dead on Wednesday in Harmain village of Shopian. A native of Sudsuna village of Kulgam, Umar, police officials said, was abducted by masked gunmen at about 8:30 last evening from his maternal uncle’s home in Batpora Shopian, where he had gone to attend his cousin’s wedding. His bullet-riddled body was recovered near Harmain in Shopian district this morning and handed over to his family after medical and legal formalities.
Umar was buried at the local graveyard with hundreds of people participating in his funeral prayers. As the preparations for his burial were on, witnesses said, youth hooted and pelted stones at policemen who had arrived at his residence. After the minor stone pelting, policemen, including top police officials, left the spot, fearing violent protests. Witnesses said army and police officials later visited the graveyard of the slain army officer and offered a gun salute to him.
Umar was schooled at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Aishmuqam. He had secured 93 percent marks in Class X and in Class XII he had scored 96 percent marks. In 2012, Umar qualified the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance exam. After the three-year training course at Pune and the one-year training at Indian Military Academy Dehradun, Umar was posted in Delhi and then in Akhnoor, where he was currently deployed.
Umar had come home on leave a couple of weeks ago and was planning to return to duty on the 14th of this month.
Umar, his father, Fayaz Ahmed, said, had gone to his maternal uncle’s home on Monday as his uncle’s daughter was getting married on Wednesday.
“He had made all the preparations for the return to his duties after attending the wedding ceremony of his cousin, which was scheduled for today and tomorrow,” his father told Kashmir Reader.
Umar was the lone brother among two sisters. His elder sister, Asmat, is a first-year college student and his younger sister, Uzma, studies in Class XII.
Umar, according to another of his relatives, Muhammad Ashraf, was interested in joining the air force, but a minor physical impairment became a barrier to his choice.
“His motive to qualify the NDA exams was to join the air force, but after a little defect in his lower foot was detected, he was declared ineligible for the same,” Ashraf told Kashmir Reader.
“Some masked gunmen entered the house and asked Umar to come along. As people present there raised objection, the gunmen told them that they will let him go after some questioning. We restlessly kept waiting for him to return all the night but in the morning came to know his body was found in Shopian village,” said a close relative of the family.
Army blamed unknown militants for the killing young army officer. “It is a dastardly and an act of cowardice. Some unknown gunmen operating in the area kidnapped the army officer and then killed him. In this time of grief Indian army stands by the family,” Commanding officer, 62 RR told reporters after the wreath laying ceremony was held.