In a very disturbing development, the Hizbul Mujahideen claimed on Sunday that the J&K police constable who had decamped with four assault rifles has joined the terrorist group.
According to reports, the outfit’s spokesperson told local media that Syed Naveed Shah has joined their fold and congratulated him for helping in the “struggle”.
The spokesperson, Burhanuddin, said that Hizbul Mujahideen “salutes the valour and bravery” of the constable.
Shah fled on Saturday evening with his own rifle and three others from Chandpora village in Budgam district. He was deputed to guard the Food Corporation of India (FCI) facility.
He is from Shopian, the most terror-infested district in South Kashmir. Terrorists have been spotted in and around Shopian forcing the armed forces to undertake a massive combing operation in two villages of the district.
Security forces believe that terrorists are hiding in the region. Police has launched a manhunt for Shah.
Shah is not the first policeman to turn rogue. In January 2016, a cop Shakoor Ahmad had fled with four rifles and joined the terrorists. He was later arrested.
Naseer Ahmad Pandit, a constable and guard of PDP leader Altaf Bukhari, had in 2015 decamped with two rifles and joined Burhan Wani’s terrorist outfit. Pandit was later killed in Shopian.