Cop with AK-47 goes 'missing' in Kashmir’s Pulwama

The Special Police Officer may have joined militants like several other policemen who ran away along with service rifles in the last three years. (PTI file pic for representation only)

A police officer has gone missing along with an AK-47 rifle in Pampore area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district since Tuesday evening.

Sources said special police officer (SPO) Irfan Ahmad Dar left the police station with his service rifle after he fell ill. The missing SPO, they said, is a resident of militancy infested Kakapora area in Pulwama.

Superintendent of Police (Awantipora) Muhammad Zahid Malik, while confirming the SPO is missing, said, “We have contacted his family and we are yet to receive confirmation on whether he has fled with his rifle or not.”

The SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 6000. The wages of SPOs are given by the state government and reimbursed by the Centre under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme. The police maintain SPOs are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy.

Sources said the SPO may have joined militants like several other policemen who ran away along with service rifles in the last three years. In May last year, a policeman decamped with four assault rifles from a post in central Kashmir's Budgam district and later joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.

In 2015, a cop-turned militant Naseer Ahmad Pandit of the 11 Battalion of the Jammu & Kashmir Armed Police, who was posted at the guard room of PDP minister Altaf Bukhari’s residence in Srinagar, decamped with two AK-47 rifles. Pandit was later killed in an encounter with security forces in 2016.

Meanwhile, the police on Wednesday said they arrested four over-ground workers of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).

“Acting on a specific information, the Sopore Police with the assistance of 22 RR 177/BN CRPF and 179/BN CRPF laid a joint 'naka' (check post) at Fruitmandi Crossing on Tuesday evening and arrested four OGWs of the JeM outfit,” a police spokesman said.

“Two UBGLs, two hand grenades and matrix sheets of the JeM outfit were recovered from their possession,” he said, adding that an FIR number 174/18 under Section 7/25 of the Arms Act and Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was registered.

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Cop with AK-47 goes 'missing' in Kashmir’s Pulwama

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