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Missing Army-man found dead in Budgam

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Srinagar: An Army-man missing for three days was found dead in an orchard in Kashmir Valley’s Budgam district on Thursday, officials said.

Sameer Ahmad Malla, held guilty in 2019 by a court martial along with his company commander Major Leetul Gogoi for “fraternising” with a local woman and “being away from the place of duty while in operational area”, went missing from his village Lokipora in Khag area on Monday.

His body had no bullet marks but showed signs of blunt injuries, officials said, adding that it appeared to be revenge killing. A preliminary examination indicated he was hit with a rod on his face, killed and later buried.

The 28-year-old Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry soldier, who was posted in Jammu, had been home on leave to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, the officials said. He last spoke to his mother from his mobile, saying that the phone battery was running low and he would call her if they get disconnected.

He was the one who drove Gogoi and a local woman to a hotel in April 2018.

A year earlier, Gogoi had hit the headlines for tying embroidery artisan Farooq Ahmed Dar to his jeep and using him as a human shield against stone pelting.

IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar when asked about the recovery of Malla’s body in Budgam, said the police are investigating the incident from all angles.

“We are probing both the angles, the terror-crime angle or maybe there was some fight because of personal animosity and he was murdered,” Kumar said while talking with media-persons outside the Hazratbal shrine. (With inputs from PTI)

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