SRINAGAR: In a significant development United Jehad Council (UJC), a Muzaffarabad-based conglomerate of militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, has denied involvement of militants in killing of Lt Umar Faiyaz in south Kashmir’s Shopian district while police on Friday released posters of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants involved in killing of young army officer.
In an e-mailed statement, the UJC spokesman, Syed Sadaqat Hussain, quoted conglomerate’s chief and Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander, Syed Salah-ud-din as saying that militants were not involved in killing of Lt Ummer Faiyaz.
“Such a killing is condemnable,” Salah-ud-Din said.
He claimed that the officer from a pro-freedom family was “murdered by the Indian agencies and militants are being accused of it to shield the real face of the Indian agencies”.
The UJC chief said there was no role of Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Taliban in Kashmir struggle.
Meanwhile, police today pasted posters of three local Hizbul militants -- Gayas-ul-Islam, Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker and Abbas Ahmad Bhat --- in some parts of Shopian.
The trio, according to police, was involved in kidnapping and murder of 22-year-old army lieutenant Umar Faiyaz on Wednesday.
The young army officer hailing from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district had gone to his relative’s home at Batagund village in Shopian to attend marriage of his cousin. He was abducted by group of militants on Tuesday evening from his relative’s house and his bullet ridden body was recovered on Wednesday morning from Hermain area of the same district.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Shopian A S Dinkar told New Indian Express that the three belonged, whose posters were released today, belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen.
He said according to preliminary investigation, a group of more than three militants were involved in abduction and killing of army officer.
“On the basis of inputs available with us, we have issued the hue and cry notice for three Hizb militants,” he said.
Dinkar said the person who gives information about the trio will be suitable rewarded. “The identity of the person giving information about trio would be kept secret”.
Asked since how long have trio been active, he said Ishfaq has been active from 2015 while Gayas and Abbas are active from 2016.
The police officer said they are investigating how militants got information about presence of army officer.
“We are investigating how militants came to know that Lt Umar Faiyaz was present at his relative’s house,” he said.
He said no arrests have taken place yet.
Asked whether police have quizzed the family members and relatives of the slain army officer, SP said, “His family members and relatives are still mourning his loss. We will talk to them after the mourning period is over”.
According to police sources, there is possibility that somebody had leaked information to militants about presence of Lt Umar Faiyaz at his relative’s residence.
“The militants had come with a plan to abduct the army officer. It was not an instant reaction but would have needed proper planning,” they said.