SRINAGAR: A soldier hailing from volatile south Kashmir’s Pulwama has gone missing alongwith his weapon from his camp in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, prompting security forces to launch a manhunt to trace him.
Police sources said Zahoor Ahmad Thakur of 173 bn Territorial Army regiment went missing from his camp at Gantmulla area of Baramulla district on Wednesday evening. They said he left the camp with his service weapon (AK-47 rifle) and three magazines. He did not reported back in the camp since then, sources said adding the jawan hailed from Sirnoo village of Pulwama district.
According to sources, police and army have launched a manhunt to track him down. They said the soldier’s family was contacted and asked whether they have been contacted by their son or whether they know his whereabouts. “Police also kept his friends and relatives under surveillance to see if he gets in touch with them.”
Police sources said there are apprehensions that since he belonged to volatile Pulwama district, he may have joined militant ranks.
They said a manhunt has been launched across the Valley to trace him. If it is established that the soldier has joined militant ranks, then it would be the first case of an Army man deserting the force to join militant ranks.
There have been many cases of policemen joining the militant ranks in the Valley.
On May 20 this year, police constable Syed Naveed Mushtaq fled with four rifles from central Kashmir’s Budgam district and joined militant groups.