'Abducted TA soldier killed', claims unverified audio statement

A week after abduction of an army man, an unverified audio has surfaced in which the speaker claims militants having killed the soldier.

Shakir Manzoor, a Territorial Army man, hailing from Reshipora village of Shopian was abducted on the evening of August 2. He was on way to his home when his car was intercepted by gunmen at Rabhama Nohama in the DH Pora area of Kulgam district. His burnt car was later found at the spot.

On August 7, clothes of the army man were recovered from an orchard of Ladoora, a village four lm from his residence in Shopian.

In the audio the speaker purportedly a militant is heard saying they would not return the body of the army man owing to the COVID19 restrictions.

“We very well understand the pain of the parents of the slain army man of not getting their son’s body. We can’t return it to avoid spread of coronavirus at his funeral. So, we performed his last rites,” he says.

The speaker further says: “We performed his last rites the same way as government forces do after denying bodies of militants to families and then bury them in unmarked graves.”

In the 3:13 minute long audio statement the speaker does not disclose the name of his militant outfit. He goes on to say they had been “collecting evidence on the anti-militant activities of the army man for quite some time.”

He warns “others” indulging in “similar activities of the same fate.” “We warn people working in police, army, and politicians, especially BJP workers of the same fate if they don’t mend their ways,” the militant says.

He says, “We have been advising certain people to refrain from activities detrimental to our cause. Even slain Hizb commanders Burhan Wani and Riyaz Naikoo had tried hard to convince these people to give up such activities, but they did not.” “Your families will yearn for your bodies too if you do not desist from activities against militants,” he says. A police official said they were ascertaining the veracity of the audio message.