Soldier killed by militants in Kashmir was home to mourn son’s death
A 45-year-old army man, who was home to mourn the death of his teenage son, was killed by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday.
Police said that a group of militants barged into the house of Mukhtar Ahmad Malik, of the Territorial Army, in Kashmir’s Shurat Kulgam and opened fire.
“Malik was at home... He was shot in his head and died before reaching the hospital,” said a police officer.
The slain man was posted in Srinagar and was on leave.
An army official said that Malik’s 18-year-old son died three days back on September 15. “Malik was killed when he was in mourning,” the official said.
A villager living near the family in Kulgam said that the son of Malik was injured in a car accident earlier this month and was in ICU at a hospital before succumbing.
He said that the attackers had come in a car posing as journalists to meet Malik. “They pretended shooting his video in his house using a mobile phone and shot him,” the villager said.
The locals also stated that Malik used to be a member of pro-government militia group called Ikhwan which was working as a counter-insurgency force in 1990s. “Malik, like many of Ikhwan men, was eventually absorbed into the Territorial Army,” the villager said.
Ikhwan has been notorious in Kashmir for its alleged human rights violations.
The killing triggered anger against journalists and prompted locals to disrupt the local reporters from covering the funeral of Malik.
This is second killing of a local army man in Jammu and Kashmir in past three months. In June, army man Aurangzeb was abducted from a private vehicle when he was going home for Eid in Shopian. His body was recovered from a Pulwama village.
Meanwhile, life was affected in many parts of Kashmir as separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik asked people to observe a shutdown against the killings of five militants and a civilian in Kulgam district on Saturday.
Shops and businesses were closed in Srinagar while movement of public transport has been partially affected. Schools were also closed while attendance in government offices was thin.