The police Sunday claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in the case involving loot of weapons by a special police officer Adil Sheikh from the official residence of a legislator he was posted with, saying a civilian from southern Shopian district "who helped the SPO in executing the plan" has been identified.
Adil, who was posted with PDP MLA from southern Wachi constituency Mir Aijaz, fled with at least seven AK-47 rifles and a licensed pistol of the legislator from his official residence in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar on Friday, sending the entire security establishment into a tizzy.
"We have cracked the (Jawahar Nagar) case. The SPO had executed the plan with the help of a civilian who also hails from Shopian district. We have identified the civilian and he will be arrested soon," additional director general of police (law and order/security) Munir Khan told Greater Kashmir.
Asked whether a photograph released on social media showing SPO Adil carrying a gun, with four more weapons in his background, was authentic, Khan said that though the police are investigating the veracity of the photograph, "it was expected that Adil would join HizbulMujahideen."
The photograph where Adil is seen wielding a gun also has a Hizb ul Mujahideen tag written in Urdu.
On Saturday, the director general of police Dilbag Singh had told reporters in Bandipora that SPO Adil had connections with militants.
"Preliminary investigations show that the SPO Adil was also having cases registered against him for his involvement in stone-pelting," a police official said.
A source in the police said that the civilian from Shopian, identified by the police, was not a militant but "may be a militant sympathiser given the fact that he helped Adil in transporting weapons and executing the entire plan hatched by the HizbulMujahideen militants."
The ADGP Khan claimed that the "plot to loot weapons was orchestrated by Hizb militants."
"This is confirmed beyond any doubt," he said.
Though weapon-snatching incidents are not new in Kashmir, the Jawhar Nagar incident was first of its kind wherein such a large number of weapons—seven AK-47 rifles and a licensed pistol of a legislator—was snatched from the official residence of a lawmaker, and that too by his own security guard.
On Saturday morning, the police detained seven personal security officials of the PDP legislator for questioning.
"All seven PSOs (of Mir) have been suspended for their callous approach towards duties," Khan said.
A police source said that mobile phones of these PSOs are being scrutinised and they are being questioned on how all of them were away from their place of duty.
"Since PDP MLA was in Jammu, his all seven PSOs had gone to their respective homes on leave, leaving their weapons in a trunk at J-11 quarters at Jawahar Nagar," the source said. "Being a known face, SPO Adil took the advantage of absence of all PSOs, and had managed his entry into the quarters on the pretext of cleaning the rooms. He also managed to flee along with eight weapons."