The constable identified as Syed Naveed Mushtaq fled with four self-loading rifles (SLRs) - his own and of three of his colleagues - and ammunition from a Food Corporation of India warehouse where he was posted in Badgam.
Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen on Sunday said that the policeman who fled away with four rifles while on duty has joined the outfit in Kashmir.
Hours after detention of deserter's cop's father and others, Kashmir's largest insurgent outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen confirmed Naveed's entry into its fold. Mushtaq, a resident of Shopian district in South Kashmir, had joined the police force as a constable in 2012. However, police sources said he seemed to have decamped with that intention.
But this is not the first incident of a constable fleeing to join militant ranks. In 2015, a Peoples Democratic Party leader's guard, Naseer Ahmad Pandit of the 11 battalion of J&K Armed Police, joined the Hizbul Mujahideen along with two service rifles. In January a year ago, Shakoor Ahmad, a policeman who was posted as a DSP's personal security officer, decamped with four rifles.
Pandit, who was part of slain militant Burhan Wani's group and posed for a picture that went viral, was later killed in an encounter in Shopian district, said the report.