Soldier abducted by militants in J&K found dead
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)