Another Shopian youth who went missing the same evening also features in photograph
Shopian: The special police officer (SPO) who decamped with seven AK-47 rifles and a licensed pistol from the guard room of the official residence of Wachi MLA Ajaz Mir in Srinagar, has joined Hizbul Mujahideen, along with another youth from Thokerpora village of Shopian who went missing the same evening.
Several photographs went viral on social media on Monday in which the deserter, Adil Bashir, a native of Zainpora Shopian, is seen brandishing an AK-47 rifle, alongside Zeenat ul Islam, the Hizb’s district commander for Shopian. The photographs also feature other militants, among them Abbas Ahmad of Mantribug village, Wasim Ahmad of Amshipora, and the new recruit, Yawar Mushtaq of Thokerpora village, who went missing from home on September 28, the day Adil Bashir decamped with the rifles and pistol.
Several photos of the rifles looted from the MLA’s residence, the guns arrayed for display upon a cloth, were also shared on social media.
Police have earlier said that Adil was already in contact with militants before he actually decamped with the weapons.
The Senior Superintendent of Police Shopian did not respond to calls from this reporter.
The police also claimed that Adil before his recruitment as SPO was involved in stone-pelting protests and had an FIR registered against his name. No weapon had been provided to Adil and he was meant to perform “menial chores” for the MLA at his official residence, police said.
Police sources said that searches and questioning have been intensified at several places and many people have been detained for questioning regarding the case.
Yawar Ahmad Dar, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, appears in the photographs brandishing an automatic weapon, along with a group of militants including Adil.
A police source told Kashmir Reader that with two more youths from Shopian joining militant ranks, the number of youths from the district who have done so has reached 35 this year, the highest for more than a decade.
Sources in Thokerpora and Amarbug villages of Shopian told Kashmir Reader that four persons were detained two days ago for questioning regarding the weapon loot in Srinagar. A police officer confirmed that searches have been intensified in the district and also questioning of people over the incident.