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Killing of Lt Umar Fayaz a 'watershed moment' in Kashmir
Deepika Bhan
Last Updated : 11 May 2017 11:49:06 AM IST



Umar Fayaz was killed in Kashmir. His bullet riddled body was found near Shopian chowk. This may appear to be as one of the cases of violence in the strife torn valley. But this case is different and significant.

 Umar Fayaz was not a regular youngster. He had chosen to pick up the gun.But his gun was meant for the nation and not against it. Umar fayaz was a bright boy with stars in his eyes. He cleared the tough NDA examination and was commissioned in Indian Army in October 2016. Lieutenant Umar Fayaz, a proud Indian Army Officer that is what he was when he was abducted and killed in Kulgam of Kashmir.


Umar Fayaz was on leave, visiting his home town to attend the marriage of his cousin. He was happy to be part of the celebrations and the cynosure of the gathering.  Tall and handsome with a strong jaw line, an impressive young man of 23, Umar was the ideal for the youth in his community. His father is an orchard farmer with modest income. 


The dream of joining the forces and fighting for the nation was not an easy one given the situation in the valley, especially in the Shopian district. Shopian is one of the restive zones in the valley and has emerged as the hot bed of terrorism in recent years. Earlier this month, two banks were looted, seven police personnel killed and rifles looted from the police personnel stationed in the Shopian court complex. 


Security forces launched a major operation in 20 villages in search of terrorists suspected to be hiding in the areas. Last month, three political activists were gunned down in Shopian-Pulwama region. Shopian has seen much violence and terror activities for many years. It was while living in this difficult area, Ummar and his family made a choice. They were aware of the peril and the hidden enemies all around. And yet, they went ahead with Ummar's dream of joining the Forces.


 Perhaps, his popularity became his bane. Umar was seen as threat by the terror propagating forces operating in and out of the valley. His success was seen as a challenge by those who have been trying hard to idolise Burhan Wani-with-the-gun for the youth in Kashmir. 


For them Lt. Umar Fayaz-with-the-gun was proving to be their anti-thesis. Despite hard selling Burhan Wani as the face of the "terror- struggle" by the terror organisations thousands of young boys and girls have been applying for jobs in army, para-military and police forces. The number of applicants has shown an increasing trend despite threats and diktats from terrorists and the separatist elements. Such large gatherings have unnerved the terrorists and their evil supporters and sponsors. 


Lt. Umar Fayaz was killed in cold blood because he refused to yield. In this case of violence, the terrorist machinery may be celebrating. They killed Umar and then left the bullet riddled body in the middle of Shopian chowk. Much like what the Talibani forces do, the intention is to hammer in the terror and create a spectacle that will force people not to think beyond. 


Umar was abducted from the marriage ceremony even as his sisters pleaded with the abductors. They were beaten and threatened. Umar's uncle Abdul Rashid while describing the incident said, "Three persons with faces covered jumped the wall and forcibly took Umar away."  


Umar's father Fayaz Ahmed is heart-broken. He says, “My son was the brightest. He was selected for NDA after 12th CBSE examination. He had a long way to go." His feeble voice slowly trails off even as the mother, sisters and other relative’s can't stop wailing. Umar was their dream and so was he for whole of Kashmir.


Umar was born on June 8, 1994.  He was the only student out of 20 from the area who could qualify for NDA. At the academy he was one of the best cadets. Umar was part of NDA hockey team and an excellent volleyball player. Umar was physically tough and very popular in the academy. His colleagues have avowed to take revenge of his martyrdom.  






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