SRI NAGAR: In the second incident of its kind in the first two months of this year, a policeman has deserted the force taking an AK-47 rifle with him.
Police sources said Riyaz Ahmad fled from Rainawari Police Station here along with an AK-47 rifle and a magazine of his colleague (constable Showkat Ahmad) on Friday.
“Riyaz belonged to Khan Sahib area of Budgam and was posted in the Rainawari Police Station,” they said.
A police officer, while confirming the incident, said an alert had been sounded. “An FIR has been registered and a manhunt has been launched to track the deserter cop. Besides, a departmental inquiry has also been initiated,” he said.
Terming cops deserting the police force as a serious issue, the officer said police were analysing the facts and chalking out a strategy to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. It is feared that the cop may have joined militant ranks.
It is for the second time this year that a cop has deserted the force in the state.
On January 16, policeman Shakoor Ahmed Parrey of Shopian, posted as a security guard to a police officer in Bijbehara area of South Kashmir, deserted the police force and decamped with four AK-47 rifles. Two of his friends also fled and all the three joined Lashkar-e-Toiba. However, Shakoor’s friends were caught by police and two AK-47 rifles were recovered from them.
In March last year, police constable Naseer Ahmad Pandith of Pulwama posted on guard duty at the Srinagar residence of senior PDP leader and former Minister Altaf Bukhari deserted the police force and decamped with two AK-47 rifles and joined militant group Hizbul Mujahideen
Meanwhile, a militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.