Srinagar: Nine policemen have joined militants in the last six months in the Valley according to newly appointed IGP, Munir Khan.
While the number of youngsters joining militants in the valley has been on the rise since 2014, policemen fleeing with weapons has become an alarming trend.
Just in the last six months, at least nine men from Jammu and Kashmir police force have joined militants. While officials were relieved to see close to 3,000 youngsters turning up for police recruitment drives as recently as May 11, instances of men in uniform making away with weapons and joining militants have raised concerns among the power corridors.
The latest incident of constable Syed Naveed Mushtaq fleeing with four assault rifles and joining the Hizbul Mujahideen has set alarm bells ringing. “Our field operational commander, Mehmood Ghaznavi, has welcomed Syed Naveed for joining the militant organisation to fight Indian occupational forces in Kashmir,” Burhan-u-Din, a spokesperson for the militant group had told Kashmir News Service after the constable made away with INSAS rifles. Syed Naveed Mushtaq was posted at a godown of the Food Corporation of India in Budgam. While fleeing he took his own INSAS rifle as well as those belonging to three other policemen.
In January last year, Shakoor Ahmad, a policeman who was posted as a DSPs personal security officer in South Kashmir, decamped with four rifles. He was reported to have joined militant ranks. He was however arrested about a month-and-a-half later from Kulgam.
In March 2015, Naseer Ahmad Pandit, a police constable from Pulwama, also joined the Hizbul Mujahideen after decamping with two rifles. He was earlier posted as a guard at then PWD minister and senior PDP leader Altaf Bukharis residence.
Pandit was a part of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wanis group, and was among the 11 militants who posed with their weapons for a photograph that later went viral. Pandit was killed in an encounter in Shopian district one year later.
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