Suspected militants shot and fatally wounded a Territorial Army soldier who had come home for Id, claiming their second victim in successive days in the Valley even as other worries mounted for the forces.
Two special police officers (SPOs) apparently deserted the force to join the militant ranks.
A woman was killed by suspected militants at her home in Pulwama on Wednesday.
A police spokesperson said militants fired upon a Territorial Army soldier in a South Kashmir village on Thursday evening. “Manzoor Beg, from Sadoora, was subsequently evacuated to hospital for treatment where he succumbed. Police are investigating the circumstances of this terror crime,” the spokesperson said.
Police sources said the soldier, who had been posted with the army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, was shot at his residence in Sadoora village in Anantnag district.
“He was on leave at his home. Perhaps he had taken leave to be with his family on Id,” an official said.
Id ul-Fitr festivities last at least two days in the Valley.
Colonel Rajesh Kalia, the defence spokesperson in Srinagar, said the slain soldier was a havaldar in a Territorial Army unit. “The soldier was unarmed and on 12 days’ leave from June 4 to celebrate Id with his family,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
He said the soldier is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
A police spokesperson said the two SPOs “have not reported back to (police) lines, Pulwama,” indicating they had disappeared.
Police sources identified the two as Shabir Ahmad of Tujan in Pulwama and Salman Ahmad of Uthmala in Shopian. The sources said the two appeared to have decamped with their rifles and are feared to have joined the militant ranks.