In yet another incident of policemen deserting the force, a cop posted in old Srinagar Saturday decamped with a rifle sending entire police department into a tizzy. An alert has been sounded across Kashmir.
Police sources said Reyaz Ahmed Shah s/o Abdul Gani, a Follower (belt number 175 F), posted at police station Rainawari in old Srinagar fled along with his rifle last night. Shah is a resident of Khansahab in Central Kashmir's Budgam district.
Police sources said that an alert was soon sounded across the Valley to nab Shah. "All police stations have been directed to remain alert and to launch a hunt to track Shah," they said. "There is an apprehension that he may have joined the militant ranks." An FIR has been registered in police station Rainawari and a departmental inquiry initiated.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Syed JavidMujtaba Gilani, said that police is looking into the causes why cops are fleeing with weapons. "This is really worrisome for us and we are looking into it. We have already taken some measures and we would now start counselling of cops to prevent them from taking any harsh step," Gilani told Greater Kashmir.
This is the third incident over the past 11 months wherein cops decamped with rifles. Last month Constable Shakoor Ahmed Parray, belt number 689 ran away with four AK-47 rifles of fellow constables from Bijbehara. Shakoor was the Personal Security Officer of SDPO BijbeharaIrshad Ahmed Bhat. Police claimed to have recovered two of the rifles out of four. Shakoor, a resident of Shopian district of South Kashmir, is still on the run.
Earlier, in March last year, Nasir Ahmed Pandith, who was on guard duty at the residence of the then Roads and Buildings Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari in Srinagar, decamped with two AK-47 rifles and two magazines. Pandith, a resident of village Kareemabad in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, joined militant outfit HizbulMujahideen and is one of the most wanted militants now.
Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra has recently issued a circular in a bid to prevent cops from fleeing with the rifles. According to the circular, no cop can proceed on leave along with his official service rifle and he has to deposit his weapon in his respective police station before proceeding for leave.
Police sources said that the fresh trend of cops running away with rifles has already disturbed the top brass and some stringent measures are likely to be taken in the coming days. "There have already been deliberations on the issue and concrete measures would be taken to ensure no cop flees," said a police source.