Missing Budgam soldier found dead, probe on

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Missing Budgam soldier found dead, probe on

Srinagar, March 10: Three days after he went missing from his village, the body of a soldier Sameer Ahmad Malla was recovered on Thursday from the Khag area in central Budgam.

The police said while no firearm injury was found on his body, they were investigating if he was killed by militants.

Malla’s body was recovered from Labran village of Dalwash in the Khag area. “(The) body of a soldier, Sameer Ahmad Malla, was found in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district after he went missing from his village Lokipora of Khag Budgam,” the police said.

“During preliminary investigation, it came to fore that no firearm injury was found on his body. Investigation in the case is going on vigorously and the circumstances leading to his death are being probed from all angles,” they said.

Malla, a soldier with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), was on leave as his wife had given birth to their second child. However, he went missing on Monday afternoon.

His uncle Habibullah Malik said Malla had gone to visit a neighbour but didn’t return home and his phone too was switched off.

Malik said Malla used to spend the night at his in-laws’ place in Mazhama village and return to Lokipora during the day. “On that day, he returned home along with his elder son. Before leaving, he had told his mother that he would go back to Mazhama in the evening along with his son,” he said.

While the family has no idea about what happened to Malla, they had apprehended that militants might have abducted him and had appealed for his release.

Malla was in news in 2018 when an Army officer, Major Leetul Gogoi, was detained along with a girl from a Srinagar hotel. Major Gogoi and the girl were dropped at the hotel by Malla in his personal car and had an altercation with the hotel staff when the hotel manager denied them booking after finding that the girl was a local resident. Major Gogi, who had earlier tied a villager to the bonnet of his jeep and paraded him through villages on the Election Day, was indicted by the Army for allegedly “fraternizing with a local woman”.

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