A Special Police Officer, Adil Bashir hailing from Zainpora village of Shopian district in South Kashmir has decamped with nine weapons including seven AK-rifles and one pistol from the residence of an MLA in Srinagar on Friday. "The pistol is the personal weapon of MLA, Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad Mir," a police handout said.
Top police sources told International Business Times, India that Adil may have joined militant ranks after decamping with the weapons. A high alert has been sounded in Srinagar and the manhunt is on to nab the SPO. The police have also announced an amount of Rs 2 lakh for capturing the SPO with weapons.
The incidents of weapon snatching have been on a rise over the past several years with either militants barging into the houses of politicians and bureaucrats or the security guards decamping with rifles.
According to official data, nearly 250 weapons were snatched by the militants in the past three years out of which only 76 were recovered.
Sources said that the guards of the police officers or politicians who are decamping with the weapons are either supplying the same to the militants or carrying out attacks on security forces directly.
In 2016, the PSO of the then-PDP minister, Altaf Bukhari decamped with two rifles and joined the militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen. A series of incidents involving weapon snatching by PSO of top police officials in South Kashmir have also occurred over the past several years.
The police have confirmed in many cases that these PSO were either planning to carry out attacks or provide these weapons to the militants.
The local boys who have joined militant outfits are also snatching weapons after carrying out attacks on police parties or politicians. "Earlier these boys would cross over the border , get arms training in Pakistan and come back with weapons. But now with stricter vigilance on the LoC, the militants ( especially the locals ) decamp with rifles of the policemen." a senior police officer said.