SPO, SSB Jawan Escape From Budgam Camp With Rifles

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Srinagar: A special police officer (SPO) and a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan have reportedly deserted their respective units along with weapons in central Kashmir’s Budgam district sending the security agencies in a tizzy, officials said Wednesday.

SPO Altaf Hassan Bhat of Qazipora Budgam decamped with two AK-47 rifles and three magazines last night from the SOG camp in Chadoora area of the district, they said. Bhat, they said, has been serving the department for the last four years.

“In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been set into motion,” a police spokesperson said.

In a similar incident, Altaf Hussain, a constable of SSB 14th battalion went missing from Nagam area of the district along with his INSAS service rifle.

“A missing report has been filed at Chadoora police station and investigations have been started,” an official said, adding that a massive manhunt has been launched to track the missing SSB jawan.

A local news agency quoted an unnamed police officer as saying that a high alert has been sounded in the district and all exit and entry points are maintaining a tight vigil.

“A massive manhunt has been launched across the district by all security agencies to track down the missing SSB man and the SPO,” the officer said, adding, it seems the missing men may have been influenced by the militants and may have joined the militancy.

Speaking to journalists at Handwara, Director General of police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh termed the incidents as unfortunate.

“Such incidents are very unfortunate but we have initiated the process to track both SSB man and the SPO. We are sure, we will get them soon,” he added.

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