Srinagar: A policeman posing as a militant was arrested after he sustained injuries after his gun went off during an extortion bid in the outskirts of Srinagar, officials and eyewitnesses said Wednesday.
Constable Bilal Ahmad, son of Mohi-ud-Din Ganai, of Gulab Bagh, Zakura, barged into the residence of Ghulam Mohammad Wani in Umerabad locality of Umerheir, Buchpora around 9:30 pm Tuesday and demanded ransom from the family.
Accompanied by an unknown associate and carrying an AK-56 rifle, Bilal forced Wani, his wife and their daughter-in-law to assemble in the compound of the house after switching off the lights. Wani’s sons—Ghulam Nabi, Mohammad Shafi and Hilal Ahmad—were in the mosque for Isha prayers when Bilal and his associate barged in.
“Mohammad Shafi and Hilal left the mosque before me. When I returned from the mosque, I found two people holding my family hostage. Among them, an AK-56 borne man shouted at me and told me to switch off the torch I was carrying. I saw my family pleading before them. However, he seemed unmoved. He was talking in Urdu and claimed he was a Jaish-e-Muhammad militant Abu Hamza. He was demanding money from my father,” Ghulam Nabi, who runs a plywood shop in the area, told Kashmir Reader on Wednesday.
He said that he couldn’t see his family pleading and begging for mercy before the gunman. More than that, he said, his parents helplessness made him restless.
“Without caring about my life, I went ahead and grabbed the gunman by his hand. The gun went off as I struggled to overpower him. My brothers also joined me and we were able to grab the man. However, before that a few shots pierced through his ankle,” Ghulam Nabi said.
He said the gunshots brought the neighbours rushing to their house. He said the neighbours, mostly young boys, thrashed the gunman before an identity card revealed that he was a cop associated with police’s Special Operations Groups (SOG) in Tral.
“The cop tried to flee. However, we informed the police, who reached the spot and took him into custody. Perhaps, this is not the first incident. The cop has been extorting money from people by posing as a militant. In January this year, he took Rs 2300 from my brother,” Ghulam Nabi said.
Medical Superintendent, SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan said that the cop was under observation for firearm injury.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Hazratbal, Rayees Ahmed told Kashmir Reader that a case was filed against the cop after he was handed over to the police by the family on late Tuesday night.
“We received information from the locals that a man has been held during burglary bid. The family had beaten him up. A police team was instantly sent to the area to take the accused into the custody. Later, the arrested man turned out to be a cop,” the SP said
He said a case (FIR No. 48/2014) under Sections 457, 393 RPC has been registered against the cop and investigations have been started.
Meanwhile, police sources said that another FIR under Sections 336, 353 has been registered against the people who beat up the extortionist cop.
This is not the first incident of extortion by a policeman. Earlier in February, police arrested two of its men, who abducted two non-local employees of an Indian cellular company, bundled them in a car and robbed them of Rs 37000 on gunpoint.