Kashmiri army man’s killing needs an honest appraisal of the ground reality

As the months pass, violence is claiming an ever-widening compass of victims in Kashmir

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On May 9, Umar Fayaz Parray, a 22-year-old army officer from Kulgam district in South Kashmir, was abducted and killed. He was home on a fortnight’s leave from the Akhnoor sector in Jammu, where he was posted. According to local journalists, he had already spent 12 days at his home in Sudsona village. Parray was at his cousin’s wedding in neighbouring Shopian district when he was kidnapped.

As news of the killing broke on Wednesday, Parray’s name was swept up in a social media storm. His death was condemned by a range of public figures, from Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.

UMMAR

JAITLEY

There was renewed criticism of “stone-pelters”, “terrorists” and “anti-nationals”. There were tributes holding him up as a model Kashmiri, in contrast to Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander whose death last July triggered a summer of violent protest. It was reminiscent of the split screens on television last year, showing Kashmiri Indian Administrative Service officer Shah Faesal on one side and Wani on the other, until Faesal himself protested this formulation in a strongly worded opinion piece.

This time, anger was fuelled by reports that there had been stone-pelting on the funeral procession bearing Parray’s body. These reports were later refuted by journalists who visited the spot. (READMORE…)

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