SRINAGAR: Army has not issued any fresh advisory or guidelines for soldiers from Kashmir serving in other parts of the country to take any precautionary measures while visiting their native places, especially in volatile south Kashmir, where a young army officer was abducted and killed by militants last week.
Defence sources said no fresh advisory has been issued by army for its men and officers from Kashmir serving in other parts of the country.
On May 10, a young army officer Lt Ummer Fayaz posted at 2 Rajputana Rifles camp at Akhnoor in Jammu was kidnapped by militants from his relative’s residence at Shopian and killed.
He had availed leave to visit his home in Kulgam in south Kashmir to attend the marriage of his cousin in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
“After killing of 22-year-old Lt Umer Fayaz, neither any communication nor any official letter has been written to the soldiers from Kashmir serving in other parts of the country to take any precautionary measure while visiting their native places in the Valley,” defence sources said.
They said no fresh SOPs have been issued.
“May be they have may have been communicated verbally, but no official advisory or guidelines have been issued,” sources said.
According to defence sources, there used to be some guidelines for the soldiers in the past.
“They had to inform the local army unit at their native place about their presence in case of availing leave as a security point of view,” they said.
J&K police chief S P Vaid has already issued advisory to all its men and officers especially of South Kashmir not to visit their homes for few months in wake of surge in militant violence in the region.
South Kashmir comprising four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian is emerging as a stronghold of militants and according to police about 88 local militants and many foreign militants are active in the region.
South Kashmir was also the epicenter of over five month long unrest in the Valley last year after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.
Of the 92 civilian killings and over 13000 injuries in security forces firing, majority of the casualties and injuries took place in south Kashmir.
Security forces recently conducted a day-long massive combing and search operation in at least two dozen villages in Shopian district to flush out the militants hiding there. In the operation, 4000 army, police and paramilitary personnel participated and helicopters and drones were also pressed into service to help the security men on ground.
However, the operation had to be called off without any arrest of militant as they had escaped from the area before launching of combing operation by the security personnel.