The Indian Army on Monday said that a soldier, who had visited Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district to celebrate Eid with his family, has been missing since the previous evening. The soldier, identified as rifleman Shakir Manzoor, may have been kidnapped by suspected militants, the Army said.
“Rifleman Shakir Manzoor of 162 Battalion (TA), is missing since 1700 hrs yesterday [Sunday],” the official account of Chinar Corps tweeted. “His abandoned burnt car has been found near Kulgam. It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by terrorists. Search op[eration] in progress.”
The search for the missing soldier is being conducted across three districts – Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag, according to NDTV. Manzoor’s family has released an appeal that the soldier should not be harmed and asked for him to be returned safely.
The suspected militants intercepted Manzoor’s car near Damhal Hanjipora in Kulgam, The Deccan Herald reported, citing unidentified Army sources.
In May 2017, Lieutenant Umar Fayaz, who had also visited his home in Shopian district, was kidnapped and then killed by militants. In another incident in the same year, Border Security Force constable Mohammad Ramzan Parray was killed outside his house in north Kashmir’s Hajin town.
Another Indian Army soldier, Aurangzeb, who went back home to Poonch district for the Eid festival, was kidnapped and then killed in June 2018. His bullet-ridden body was found in Pulwama’s Gooso village.