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Rifleman found dead in Kulgam laid to rest at native place

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Army pays tributes

Srinagar: Territorial Army Rifleman Shakir Manzoor Wagay, whose decomposed body was found yesterday in Kulgam district of south Kashmir a year after his abduction, was laid to rest at his native village in Reshipora village in Harmain hamlet of Shopian district on Thursday.

An official said that senior army officers including GOC Victor Force, commander 2 Sector visited Shakir’s native village to offer tributes.

His decomposed body was found near BSNL tower in Mohammadpora Kulgam on Wednesday.

His father Manzoor Ahmad told news agency KNO that he has identified his son on basis of hair, teeth and feet.

“Wherever any dead body would be found in south Kashmir, we used to rush there to check whether it was the body of Shakir,” Manzoor said.

He said that he along with his other family members and relatives and neighbours have spent days and nights in different orchards and far-off places searching his son Shakir.

Notably, around a week after his abduction an unverified audio message surfaced on social media in which the speaker claiming to be a militant, without identifying himself, claimed to have abducted and killed the soldier after which his family members demanded his body.

The speaker also claimed that they have buried him at an unidentified location and his body won’t be returned, as the authorities too were not returning the bodies of the militants.

Earlier in Srinagar, General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Corps Lt General D P Pandey on Thursday led all ranks in laying wreaths over the mortal remains of rifleman Shakir Manzoor Wagay.

“Lt Gen Pandey and all ranks laid wreaths on the mortal remains of the braveheart, Rifleman Shakir Manzoor Wagay of 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) at Chinar Corps War Memorial,” a defence spokesman said here.

He said Wagay was on bonafide military duty at Balapur in Shopian on August 02, 2020, when he went missing.

“Security forces had launched an extensive search at that time to locate him. After a comprehensive search, his burnt vehicle was found at Rambhama, Kulgam. However, despite persistent efforts of the security forces, Rifleman Shakir Manzoor Wagay could not be traced,” he said.

“Wagay’s father Manzoor Ahmed had anticipated that his son had been abducted by terrorists as some anti-national social media accounts had alleged at that time that the rifleman had been killed and that his body had been deliberately buried at an unidentified location,” he said.

“According to the post-mortem report, the death of Late Rifleman Shakir Manzoor is attributable to grievous injuries. The injury marks on him indicate that Rifleman Shakir Manzoor was tortured and murdered in the most brutal and inhumane manner by the terrorists,” the spokesman said.

The rifleman Shakir Manzoor (26) had joined the Army in June 2016. He belonged to village Reshipura in Shopian district and is survived by his parents.

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