Sol­dier ab­ducted by mil­i­tants in J&K found dead

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - Mir Eh­san

A SE­NIOR SE­CU­RITY OF­FI­CIAL SAID THE SOL­DIER WAS A CLOSE AIDE OF AN ARMY OF­FI­CER WHO LED THE TEAM THAT KILLED SAMEER TIGER, A HIZBUL MIL­I­TANT

SRI­NA­GAR:AN army sol­dier posted in south Kash­mir’s Shopian dis­trict was ab­ducted by mil­i­tants on Thursday and his bul­let-rid­dled body was found late at night.

Ear­lier, a mas­sive man­hunt was launched to track the sol­dier, who has been iden­ti­fied as Au­rangzeb, a res­i­dent of Poonch in Jammu. He was posted at 44 Rashtriya Ri­fles Shadi­marg camp in Shopian.

A se­nior se­cu­rity of­fi­cial in Sri­na­gar said the sol­dier was a close aide of an army of­fi­cer who led the team that killed Sameer Tiger, a hard­core Hizbul mil­i­tant. It is be­ing probed whether Au­rangzeb’s kid­nap­ping and killing is linked to him be­ing an aide of the army of­fi­cial.

Mo­ham­mad As­lam, SP, Pul­wama, said that Au­rangzeb was go­ing home on leave when he was ab­ducted by the gun­men.

Sources said that on Thursday morn­ing, sol­diers at the Shadi­marg camp stopped a pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle and asked its driver to drop Au­rangzeb, dressed in civvies, at Shopian town.

How­ever, two kilo­me­tres ahead of the camp, gun­men ap­peared on the road, stopped the ve­hi­cle, and kid­napped the sol­dier. As news of the ab­duc­tion reached the army camp, a search oper­a­tion to track the gun­men was started. Later, po­lice also joined in.

Last year, a lo­cal army of­fi­cer, Lt Umar Fayaz, was kid­napped by mil­i­tants from a rel­a­tive’s house at Shopian, where he had gone to at­tend the wed­ding of his cousin. Fayaz, from Ra­jputana Ri­fles, was killed three kilo­me­tres away from the place of ab­duc­tion and 25km from his na­tive vil­lage hours af­ter he was ab­ducted.

TWO UL­TRAS, SOL­DIER KILLED IN GUNFIGHT

Two mil­i­tants and a sol­dier were killed in a gunfight in forests of north Kash­mir’s Bandi­pora dis­trict on Thursday, army said.

The en­counter be­tween mil­i­tants and se­cu­rity forces took place in Pa­nar forests of the dis­trict fol­low­ing two ear­lier en­coun­ters be­tween the war­ring sides since June 9.

“Two ter­ror­ists have been killed and one army sol­dier was mar­tyred in the on­go­ing oper­a­tion,” said army spokesman Ra­jesh Kalia. Po­lice con­trol room (PCR) Bandi­pora said that the se­cu­rity forces had launched a search oper­a­tion in Pa­nar and Ray­naar forests of Bandi­pora af­ter a pa­trolling party of the Army’s 44 RR was fired upon by mil­i­tants on June 9.

There was a brief ex­change of fire be­tween mil­i­tants and se­cu­rity forces on Monday as well even as the mas­sive search oper­a­tion con­tin­ued. The area has been cor­doned off from all sides and all routes have been sealed.

“The oper­a­tion is still on. More mil­i­tants may be in the area,” an of­fi­cial at the PCR said.

(With in­puts from Ashiq Hussain)

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