A bright spark and josh machine as friends and course mates of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz used to call him, the Journey from a boy to a man he travelled made him an inspiration for not only youth of present Kashmir but also the entire nation. Born on 08 June 1994 at Harmen village of Kulgam District of Jammu and Kashmir in a family whose only bread butter was farming. Born and brought up with the perception of changing the Kashmir valley by inspiring youth to join the defence forces, he himself joined the Indian army so that he can motivate others to join Indian defence. After his studies from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Anantnag, He sought help from Indian Army for guidance on how to Join the Indian Army and successfully sailed through the Service Selection Board and joined National Defence Academy. He passed out on 10 Dec 2016 and joined the 2 RAJ RIF Battalion after commissioning. The young officer was deployed on line of control at Akhnoor district of Jammu and Kashmir as his first posting with 2 RAJ RIF. There has been tales about the young martyr that he was a josh machine and favourite of his commanding officer.
A group of around 15 members of Bellicose Outfits abducted Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz from his uncle’s house in Shopian district, Jammu and Kashmir. Militants brought him at an unknown place where he was brutally tortured and killed by those militants. Villagers found Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz’s bullet-riddled body early on Wednesday, a day after he was abducted by militants at his cousin’s wedding. The Indian Army quietly mourns the young officer’s death, his brothers-in-arms and his family came together to remember him and promise retribution. But there was a sign of vindictiveness in the army behaviour and they neutralised all of the conspirators involved within one year of this heart-breaking incident of killing of a 23 year-old young officer who had many dreams in his opened eyes which were optimistically looking forward to see the change in the perception of people of Kashmir.
The great loss to the family of departed officer and country was mourned by the entire nation. Behind all Candle marches, debates on new channels and social median there was only one appeal of the entire nation that killers of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz should be neutralised as soon as possible. Indian Army has taken an internal pledge to kill that group of militants who killed Lt Ummer Fayaz and that pledge of the Indian Army finally fulfilled in 2018 when all those militants involved in killing of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz were killed within one year. All the militants who were responsible for his murder were killed in operations on 31 March and 01 April 2018 by Rashtriya Rifles units. Jammu & Kashmir Police stated that militant Abbas Bhat, who was wanted in connection with Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz’s abduction and murder, was among the militants killed in OPERATION BATAGUND on 25 November 2018. Today Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz is not there with us but his motivational thought and pledge to change Kashmir is alive and successfully changing the perception of people of Kashmir. Today there is a number of youngsters joining the Indian Army and other security forces of the nation. Although the anguished terrorist groups and separatists try their best to hamper the movements of Indian army to win hearts and minds of the people but they have failed completely as people of Kashmir have started to recognise and understand that they are wasting their time and efforts and nothing would be achieved from these efforts.
Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was the 847th name to be engraved on the War Memorial at the Indian Military Academy. There is an Army Goodwill School, an army school in Jammu and Kashmir, which was renamed to Shaheed Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz Goodwill School by the Indian Army to honour Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz. Supreme sacrifice made by Lt Ummer Fayaz and many other martyrs of Kashmir have now been fruitified. Now youth from Jammu and Kashmir have started bringing laurels to the nation. There have been so many youths like Nabil Ahmad Wani who joined BSF, Rubeda Salam who became first women from Kashmir to become IAS in 2013, Amir Alsafi who become first IAS topper from Kashmir and young and talented actress Zaira Wasim who had acted in the super hit Bollywood movie ‘Dangal’ are amongst the names who have proved their mettle and raised the national flag high.
It is because of the inspiration drawn from such young motivated men, our young talented people of Kashmir have started representing India at national and international level. It takes true hard work and great inspiration which kindles the fire of positive changes in the society. It is very easy to choose an easier wrong than a harder right but it leads to ignominy and shame for the family who chooses the wrong path. But one chooses the right path despite of odds and difficulties, not only brings laurels to the family but his society and country. Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was such an example who not only tried to change the perception of his people but successfully changed it. As Indian government and Indian army is a front runner in the development in the Kashmir valley, it also becomes responsibility of people of Kashmir to pay back by contributing in sports, by joining Defence forces or achieving in any other field.
Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz was a role model for entire nation and by his actions had inspired many youngsters to join the armed forces. Actions by people inspired from his perception are replies to those anti nationals, separatists and militants who wished to spread negativity in the valley in form of militancy and chaos. These actions are also an answer to Pakistan which always wants to bring terror, chaos and wish to indoctrinate the people of Kashmir by various ways and means. Separatists and Pakistan’s proxies in form of militancy have been desperately peddling a narrative of the entire Valley being against the Indian state. But 23-year-old Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz being a part of the Army and yet flourishing defeated their narrative. The day is not far when people of Kashmir will have a feeling of patriotism and will contribute with greater efforts to bring laurels, name and fame for India and make every one proud. There will be new born who will be named after Lt Ummer Fayaz and will inspire others to bring positive changes in Kashmir.
Bottom Line : Ideas, Opinions and Views expressed in articles are Writer’s own and may not be in accord with those of SUBAH KASHMIR