After Lt Fayaz's murder, 11 J&K youths graduate from IMA
A month after 23-year-old Lt Umar Fayaz was kidnapped from a wedding and murdered by terrorists, 11 youths from Jammu and Kashmir have risen up against anti-national forces and graduated from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.
All the 11, part of a batch of 490, considered their senior Fayaz a role model.
But amid happiness and pain, fear loomed too.
What happened to the 23-year-old lieutenant?
Fayaz, hailing from Shopian, was at Batapora, Kulgam, for his cousin's wedding. At 10pm, terrorists barged into the ceremony and dragged him away.
The body was recovered 4km away the next morning.
There were several injuries on his body. Hizbul Mujahideen was suspected, but it had denied involvement.
It was the first time since the 1990s that an officer on leave was killed.
After Fayaz's murder, the army chief's call to J&K youths
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat later called on Kashmiri youths to unite against the Fayaz's killing.
"Kashmiri youth should introspect and learn a lesson from this sad incident. They should sit together and discuss if they are on the right path," Rawat had said.
The army had also declared that a local school will be renamed as "Lt Umar Goodwill School".
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A month later, Kashmiri IMA graduates recall Fayaz
Mohammad Salman from Ladakh, an immediate junior, was with Fayaz at NDA. Both were "from the same region", he said.
Mohammad Ashraf, father of Shah Nawaz from Doda, is concerned, "but at the same time very proud"; Nawaz is meanwhile "itching to be a part of the action".
But amid the pain and the resolve, there's fear too
However, there's fear in the air too. An Anantnag candidate, who refused to be identified, said he is going to keep his profession a secret in his village. "In fact, I haven't taken leave to go home. I will be instead joining my regiment immediately."
Jammu And Kashmir