SHOPIAN: Unidentified gunmen on Saturday killed a Kashmiri army soldier who was on leave at his home in a Shopian village.
Sepoy Irfan Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Muhammad Dar, was with the 175 Territorial Army (Engineers), posted in Bandipora’s Gurez village. A resident of Sazan village of Shopian, he left his home in his car on Friday evening, minutes after receiving a phone call. His bullet-riddled body was found in Wothmula village on Saturday morning.
Senior superintendent of police, Shopian, S A Dinkar told Kashmir Reader, “He (Irfan) left his home yesterday evening and was abducted on the way. His bullet-riddled body was found in Wothmula village of Shopian,” he said, adding that investigations are on into the killing.
The army’s Srinagar-based defence spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia, said that Irfan was on leave till November 26. “While on leave, he was possibly abducted and killed by militants. The matter is being investigated by the police,” he said.
Locals from Irfan’s village said that more than a thousand mourners attended the funeral prayers of the slain solider. Emotional scenes were witnessed after the slain soldier’s body reached his village.
Irfan’s uncle, Muhammad Ayoub Dar, told Kashmir Reader that nobody from the army had visited the bereaved family, apart from a commanding officer. He added that Irfan had served in the army for the last three years and had come home on vacation.
Ayoub said, “Yesterday, around Magrib (evening) prayers, somebody called him over the phone, and he left the house. After that, he did not respond despite our calling him constantly.
“On searching for him, we came to know around 10:30 am that Irfan had been killed. He had bullet marks on his body,” Ayoub said. However, he said, the family did not know about the caller who called him before he left home.
Irfan is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.
One of Irfan’s friends, pleading anonymity, described the slain soldier as a kind person who did not harm anyone in the village. “He was kind, helpful and down-to-earth,” the friend told Kashmir Reader.
Irfan’s coffin was wrapped in a green cloth with Quranic verses inscribed on it. His funeral prayers were held in an apple orchard in Sazan village, and he was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard.
Early this year, unknown gunmen killed Lieutenant Colonel Umar Fayaz in the same district. Umar too was on leave to attend the marriage of his maternal cousin.