SRINAGAR: The bullet-riddled body of a 24-year-old man, who was abducted by suspected militants last evening, was recovered from his native village in the restive south Kashmir's Pulwama district today morning.

The incident took place barely twelve hours after the abduction of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat from Pulwama district's Murran village when a group of suspected militants forcibly took him away.

His family said he had returned home on Sunday rom his clinic in the adjoining Awantipora, which he ran as a pharmacists, and was going to return on Monday morning.

“He had gone out to catch up with his friends but did not return home till late night. His family was searching for him but they were informed in the morning that Gulzar’s bullet riddled body had been found in nearby fields,” sources said.

Police sources said the bullet-riddled body of the 24-year-old was dumped by the gunmen in a field in his native Murran village where it was found by locals today morning who has gone to mosque for morning prayers.

“A police team reached the spot and recovered the bullet riddled body which has been sent for postmortem examination. We have registered a case and investigation have been started to nab the culprits,” a top police officer in Pulwama district said. “There were other injury marks and bruises on his body which suggest that the militants had tortured him before shooting him dead,” the officer said.

The deceased reportedly ran an eye clinic in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Police sources said the investigation in the brutal murder point to the involvement of a group of Hizbul Mujahideen militants in the incident who have been identified and a manhunt has been launched to nab them.

No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.

According to a union home ministry report, civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir by 167% last year this year as compared to 2015. While security forces have been blamed for most of these killings, militants have also taken revenge on people who are accused of working as informers for the state.

In many cases, the militants shoot videos of the abducted men who are asked to confess their role in getting militants killed at the hands of security forces. Some of the abducted men were also returned to their families unharmed.

(Cover photograph of relative mourning death of policeman killed in Srinagar encounter BASIT ZARGAR)