Hundreds pay homage to Lt Ummer Fayaz

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"We convincingly want to clear it that there is no hand of militants in the killing of Umar Fayaz". He was supposed to have returned to his unit in the Akhnoor area of Jammu on May 25. The incident comes in the wake of the Hizbul declaring an open threat to local Kashmiris who either join the Army or the police force. There were scuffle marks on the body as well. He had been fired at from a close range.

"All the efforts and the hard work done under operation Sadbhavana by the Army to win over the trust of the locals has virtually washed off, as the Army is now facing hostile local crowds at the encounter sites", said Dr Aaliya Ahmed, a teacher at MERC, University of Kashmir.

The body of Fayaz, who would have turned 23 on June 6, was laid to rest with full military honours in his native village, with hundreds of people attending the funeral.

"I am aware of the presence of the terrorists in the area (south Kashmir) and I must tell you that because of the high vegetation that is there, they are having slight amount of freedom but we are doing operations in a way to restrict their movement and subsequently neutralize them", the GoC told reporters.

"The GOC assured the family that those responsible for Lt Ummer's dastardly murder will be brought to justice".

Talking to The Indian Express, Rawat said, "The young officer was a role model for all young Kashmiris. Their posters have been put up across south Kashmir", said a senior officer.

The GoC said Fayaz's family is courageous and they have shown hope even in this hour of grief.

Lieutenant Fayaz was kidnapped from a relative's house in the midst of a wedding ceremony, and shot dead the same night.

Asserting that the deceased officer was an exceptional sportsman, Jaitley said his sacrifice reiterates nation's commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley.

Asked whether there was any advisory like the one issued by state police to its personnel asking them to refrain from visiting their homes for some time, Major Gen Raju said, "There is no such advisory. This organization has butchered Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Yeman, Turkey and Afghanistan so our people in the name of Islam should not get coaxed by this terrorist organization", Salahuddin siad and made it clear that the ongoing freedom struggle in Kashmir is indigenous and it has no backing of global forces.