New Delhi, May 13: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has blamed the ‘Indian agencies’ for killing Indian Army officer Ummer Fayaz who according to him belonged to a”pro-freedom family”.
Salahuddin has also denied any hand in the abduction and killing of Fayaz. On the other hand, the Jammu and Kashmir police has released the pictures of three suspected Hizbul militants in Fayaz’s killing.
Defence sources on Thursday said that six militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were involved in the killing of Ummer Fayaz and that a massive manhunt has been launched to catch them.
Police investigating the case have told The Indian Express that witnesses have revealed to them that militants were led by local Hizbul Mujahideen operative Abbas Ahmad Bhat.
Bhat’s house is just a few kilometers away from Lt Fayaz’s and it is likely that he knew of the army officer as not many students from the valley go on to join the army, said an investigating officer.
Lt Fayaz, son of a farmer and an avid sportsman, had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his maternal uncle at Batapura, about 74 kms from Srinagar, from where he was abducted by the militants around 10 pm on Tuesday night.
On his first leave since joining the Army, he was posted with 2 Rajputana Rifles in Akhnoor in Jammu region. His killing has triggered anger among the locals who demanded action against the culprits.
The Army had on Wednesday vowed to punish the killers of Lt Fayaz and said the incident marks a watershed moment in Kashmir Valley as people there will decisively turn the tide against terrorism.
Calling the attack a “dastardly act of cowardice” by militants, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had said Lt Fayaz’s sacrifice reiterates the nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the valley.