An Indian Army soldier who had gone to Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate Eid with his family, has been missing since last evening, the army has said on Monday.
Rifleman Shakir Manzoor was part of the 162 Battalion had gone home to Shopian on leave. It is suspected that he has been abducted by terrorists, the army said.
Tweeting under the hashtag #TerrorismFreeKashmir, the army said: “Rifleman Shakir Manzoor of 162 Battalion (TA), is missing since 1700hrs yesterday. His abandoned burnt car has been found near #Kulgam. It is suspected that the soldier has been abducted by terrorists. Search op in progress.”
The burnt car, which belonged to Mr Manzoor, was found from Rambhama area of neighbouring Kulgam district.
A search is on for him across Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts. The police are using drones and sniffer dogs, sources said.
Mr Manzoor’s family has issued an appeal that he should not be harmed and returned safely.
Targetting of off-duty soldiers visiting Kashmir by terrorists, have become a trend of sorts in south Kashmir since the first such instance three years ago.
In May 2017, a young, unarmed army officer was kidnapped by terrorists when he was attending a family wedding in Shopian. The bullet-riddled body of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was recovered the next day 30 km from the wedding venue.
The 22-year-old had joined the Rajputana Rifles five months before. He was believed to be the first Kashmiri officer to be murdered while on leave in his home state since 1991.
In June 2018, another soldier Aurangzeb, who went home to Poonch for Eid, was abducted and killed.