Security forces launch search op after soldier goes missingUpdated: Aug 03, 2020 23:28 IST
Srinagar: A 24-year-old Territorial Army rifleman went missing on Sunday while he was on his way home in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, the army said on Monday. Security forces have launched a joint operation to trace him fearing that he may have been abducted after his abandoned vehicle was found torched.
“The abandoned burnt car of [Rifleman Shakir] Manzoor has been found near Kulgam. It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by terrorists. The search operation is in progress,” the army said in a statement. It added Manzoor belongs to Territorial Army’s 162 Battalion and that the operation to trace him has been launched in Kulgam and neighbouring Shopian district.
Manzoor, who joined the Territorial Army in 2018 and is currently deployed with Rashtriya Rifles, went missing after some unidentified people stopped and set his private vehicle afire at Rambhama village in Kulgam district on Sunday evening. The Army suspects militants operating in South Kashmir could behind his abduction.
Manzoor’s family said he was on leave. The Jammu & Kashmir police said they have questioned some people near the spot, where the vehicle was found and put up checkpoints across the areas, where they fear the soldier could have been taken.
Terrorists have over the years targeted soldiers on leave in Kashmir. Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, a 22-year-old Army officer, was abducted from Shopian while he was on leave and killed in May 2017 a year after he was commissioned.
Aurangzeb, an army jawan posted in South Kashmir’s Shadimurg, was abducted and killed soon after he left the 44 Rashtriya Rifles camp in June 2018. He was on his way home in Poonch for Eid.