SRINAGAR: A Jammu and Kashmir policeman hailing from south Kashmir’s Shopian district has deserted the police ranks and joined militancy.
A police official said policeman Ishfaq Ahmad Dar, a resident of Heff village of Shopian, who was undergoing training at the Police Training Centre (PTC) Kathua in Jammu province of the State, had not reported to the training centre after availing leave from October 14, a police official said.
“He was supposed to report back at the centre on October 24 but he did not report back and instead his photo with AK-47 rifle had gone viral on social media,” he said.
The official confirmed that the policeman has joined militant ranks.
“We have got credible reports that the missing policeman has joined militant ranks. We have launched a manhunt to track him down,” he said.
They official said they are ascertaining which outfit he had joined.
There are reports that the policeman has joined Lashkar-e-Toiba, which is strong in south and north Kashmir.
In the picture which had gone viral, Ishfaq wearing a black skull cap was holding an AK-47 rifle and wearing. The picture had superimposed text that Ishfaq alias Abu Akram has joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Ishfaq had joined the police force in 2012.
It is not the first time that a policeman had joined militancy in the State. There have been many incidents in the past when policemen deserted the force and joined militancy.
A policeman and an army man have already joined militant ranks this year.
In May, a police constable Syed Naveed Mushtaq of Shopian fled with four rifles from the guard post of Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and joined Hizbul Mujahideen.
In July, an army man Sepoy Zahoor Ahmad Thokar of Pulwama fled from his unit at Gantamulla, Baramulla in north Kashmir with his AK 47 and three magazines and joined militancy.
Police also recently arrested two policemen for supply ammunition to the militants.