April 2019 News

Soldier On Leave Shot Dead By Militants In Kashmir

6 April 2019
The Hindustan Times
Mir Ehsan

Srinagar: Unidentified militants on Saturday shot and killed a soldier at point blank rage close to his house in north Kashmir's Warpora village. The soldier, who was on leave, was identified as Mohammad Rafiq Yatoo. The police said he was shot around 5:30 pm when unidentified gunmen opened fire on him near his house. Yatoo was taken to a hospital, but he died of the injuries he suffered in the shooting. Soon after the killing, the army and police launched a search operation in the area. A fortnight ago two militants were killed in the same village in an encounter with security forces that lasted two days. No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the killing. A police spokesman blamed Kashmiri militants for the murder. 'He was with the army and was at home on leave. A case has been registered and police is investigating the circumstances of this terror crime,' the spokesman said. Yatoo had come home on leave five days ago. He was posted with 52 Rashtriya Rifles, which is deployed in north Kashmir. Officials said that he had joined the army seven years ago. Kashmiri militants have often targeted army soldiers. In June last year, Aurangzeb, a soldier with 44 Rashtriya Rifles, posted in south Kashmir's Shopian district was abducted by militants and his bullet-riddled body was found 10 kilometers away from the place where he had been seized. Aurangzeb, a resident of Poonch in Jammu, was on way home to celebrate Eid when he was abducted and killed. In March, suspected militants shot dead Showkat Ahmad at Pinglena in Pulwama. Ahmad had been declared a deserter by the Army after he left his training midway last year. On March 9, family members of Yasin Bhat, of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, foiled an attempt by militants to abduct him from his house in village Qazipora of Budgam district after they scuffled with militants who had barged into their house. In May 2017, militants kidnapped and then killed Lt Umar Fayaz at Hermain Shopian where he had gone to attend the marriage cermony of a cousin. In November 2017, a territorial Army jawan, Irfan Ahmad Dar, who was on leave, was abducted and killed by militants in an apple orchard close to his house at Sazan, in Shopian.