The militants who killed Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, the 22-year-old officer of 2 Rajputana Rifles who was shot dead in south Kashmir on Tuesday night, were reportedly led by local Hizbul Mujahideen operative Abbas Ahmad Bhat. Bhat was wanted for two earlier homicides, including one of a local doctor, The Indian Express reported.
Witnesses also said in the report that two men called Ishfaq Ahmad Thokar and Ghias-ul-Islam Thokar had accompanied Bhat.
The Jammu and Kashmir police on Friday released posters of the three militants, saying they were responsible for the killing of Fayaz, according to IANS.
Bhat was released on bail in April last year after five years in jail under trial for the murder of Shopian doctor Masood Ahmad in 2011. Bhat's father said that he had skipped bail and gone missing from his home on 25 September last year.
PTI had reported on Thursday that six militants from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen were involved in the abduction and killing of Fayaz. A massive manhunt has been launched to catch them.
"We have identified six militants who were involved in the killing of Fayaz. The militants are from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen," PTI had quoted a source as saying.
Security forces are carrying out searches in various areas to nab the six militants, the source had said.
Fayaz, the son of a farmer and an avid sportsman, had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his maternal uncle at Batapura, about 74 km from Srinagar, from where he was abducted by the militants around 10 pm on Tuesday night.
The bullet-riddled body of Fayaz was found in Harmen area of Shopian on Wednesday morning, hours after he was abducted by militants from Batpura village. His killing has triggered anger among the locals who demanded action against the culprits.
The army had on Wednesday vowed to punish the killers of Fayaz and said the incident marks a watershed moment in the Kashmir Valley, as people there will decisively turn the tide against terrorism.
Calling the attack a "dastardly act of cowardice" by militants, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley had said Fayaz's sacrifice reiterates the nation's commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 12, 2017 12:51:38 IST