Police deserter escapes in gunfight, aide held in Budgam


Six persons arrested for providing logistics to militants for carrying out attacks on Srinagar-Jammu highway

Just two days after a policeman deserted the service to join militancy, security forces on Friday engaged him in a gunfight in central Kashmir’s Budgam where he managed to escape but his associate was arrested.

Meanwhile, police held six persons for providing logistics to militants for carrying out attacks on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in the last two months.

“On a specific input, the Special Police Officer [SPO], who deserted the police and decamped with two AK 47 rifles, along with his associate, was trapped in the Chadoora area of Budgam. They fired indiscriminately and the SPO managed to escape from the spot,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar said his associate was, however, captured alive. “The captured associate was identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, an overground worker and a notorious stone pelter. One of the missing AK 47 rifles was recovered from his possession,” the IGP said.

Mr. Kumar said the security forces showed “maximum restraint by arresting the terrorist associate during the live encounter.” “I appeal to the family of the SPO Altaf to help police in bringing him back,” he added.

Meanwhile, the police said they arrested six militant associates “who had provided shelter, transportation and also conducted recce of the security force deployments” on the highway in the Valley.

“Police teams carried out a series of raids in Budgam’s Chadoora, Srinagar’s Nowgam and other areas and picked up around a dozen suspects for questioning. Six militant associates were found providing logistics to the attackers. A house was also located where they would hide,” Mr. Kumar said.

The police seized six vehicles, “which were used to carry out these terror attacks.”

These six youths were accused of being part of attacks that took place from August 14 to October 5 within the jurisdiction of the Nowgam police station and Chadoora.

“These incidents included an attack at Gulshan Nagar in Nowgam, in which two personnel were killed and one INSAS rifle was snatched and an attack on CRPF at Kaisarmullah Chadoora, in which one CRPF personnel was killed and his weapon snatched. Besides, the attack on CRPF’s 110 Battalion near Taingan New Bypass, which left two jawans dead and four others injured,” the police said.

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