A candle light march was held at India Gate on Saturday to pay homage to 22-year-old Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, who was abducted and shot dead by suspected militants in Shopian district of Kashmir on May 10.
More than 500 people, including at least 100 ex-servicemen, participated in the march that began around 7pm.
Youth present at the march to mourn the death of the army officer said that the country has lost a role model. “Army plays a key role in protecting our borders. We sleep peacefully at night because they are fighting against militants and keeping them at bay. They do their jobs in tough conditions.Those who kill brave men like Fayaz should not be spared,” said Rishi Pandey, a 20-year-old science student.
Raising slogans of “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, ex-servicemen said that the situation in Kashmir is deteriorating and the government ought to take strict action.
“This candle march has been organised to pay our homage to Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, a young army officer and an apple farmer’s son. Why was he killed?” said commander (Retd) Pawan Sanan.
Fayaz had been commissioned into the Indian Army in December 2016. He was with the Rajputana Rifles in the Akhnoor sector.
The killing of the Army officer comes just a few days after militants killed five policemen and two bank guards in an attack on a cash van in Phambai area of Kulgam. The five Jammu and Kashmir policemen and the two guards killed in the attack were locals.
Another visitor, 44-year-old Sandeep Gupta, joined the march with his wife and 10-year-old daughter. They had come to know about the march through word-of-mouth.
“Earlier I had read in newspapers about the army officer’s brutal death. It was very shocking. So I decided to join the march to pay my tribute to him. That’s the least we as common people can do,” Gupta said.