Lt. Ummer Fayaz, whose body was found with two bullet marks in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday morning, was reportedly 23 on June 8.
Originally from Kulgam in southern Kashmir, the young officer was in Shopian for his cousin’s wedding. He was abducted by militants around 10 p.m. Tuesday, military sources said.
Police also said Fayaz could have been taken away by activists, but the family did not notify authorities. “They must have thought he would be released,” they said.
Posted in Akhnoor sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the officer was trained at the National Defense Academy near Pune and at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun before being put into service on December 10, 2016.
Fayaz was on the defense academy hockey team and also loved volleyball.
Physically resilient, Fayaz, posted in the Akhnoor sector of the border state, was popular among the troops. He was likely to go to Mhow in September to take a junior officer course.
His father is an apple grower.
His body was taken to Shopian Hospital for an autopsy and will then be transported to his village for burial with military honors.
Calling it a “despicable act”, the Indian military said in a statement that it “salutes the brave and stands with the bereaved family at this time of tragedy.”
Army sources said the killing was aimed at intimidating people and discouraging young people from joining the military and other security forces.
The incident comes amid mounting tensions in the valley between civilians and security forces following a series of videos allegedly showing human rights violations by the security forces.
About a week ago, a rogue Pakistani army team killed and beheaded two security personnel, sparking outrage across the country and prompting the government to swear a firm response.