Four days after he went missing, a policeman from Shopian has surfaced online. His picture appeared on social media on Saturday, showing him posing with an AK-47 rifle. Police said they were still confirming whether Ishfaq Ahmad Dar had joined militant ranks. Sources, however, said he had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
If this is confirmed, Dar would be the second policeman from Shopian to join militant ranks this year. “We have seen his pictures (holding gun) but we are confirming (if he has joined militants),” Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for South Kashmir S P Pani told The Sunday Express. “He was absent from duty.”
On Saturday, a picture of Dar wearing a skull cap and holding an AK-47 rifle was posted on social networking sites and circulated through WhatsApp. The social media posts identified him as Ishfaq Ahmad Dar alias Abu Arkam of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
A resident of Heff Shirmal village in Shopian, Dar was posted at Police Training Centre at Kathua in Jammu. He was at home on leave and supposed to rejoin duty five day ago. However, he did not report back at the police lines, following which his family lodged a missing report.
Police sources said they had apprehensions that Dar may have joined militants, and that he was under surveillance for his sympathetic views towards militants. Dar joined J&K Police in 2012. He could be the second policeman from Shopian to join militants this year.
On May 21, Hizbul Mujahideen claimed that a policeman, Syed Naveed Mushtaq Shah, had joined their ranks. An Army man from south Kashmir, Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, posted in Uri also deserted the force this year and joined militants.