After 43 days of manhunt, the J&K police has finally arrested the police constable from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district who had decamped with four AK rifles from Bijbhera. The police had earlier arrested three associates of constable from different parts of South Kashmir and recovered three rifles from them.
The police said that constable – Shakoor Ahmad was arrested from Kulgam on Thursday after they received a tip-off about his presence.
“We have arrested Shakoor Ahmad and recovered a pistol and two grenades from his possession,” Superintendent of Police, Kulgam, Mumtaz Ahmad said, adding that investigation is still going on.
On January 16, constable Shakoor Ahmad went missing with four service rifles, fuelling apprehension that he may have joined militant ranks. Shakoor Ahmad was the personal security officer of DSP Irshad Ahmad Rather and was part of the security cover of the SDPO, when militants attacked him at Bijbhera on December 24. The officer had sustained grievous injuries in that attack.
Soon after the constable decamped with weapons, police constituted a team to trace the missing policeman.
On the same day, three youths – Aqib Dar, Gazi Fayaz and Abid Bhat — of Kundalan and Kanihama villages of Shopian district also went missing.
Soon after Shakoor went missing, massive search operation was launched in the area especially in his native village Kundalan in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, a militant stronghold.
On January 21, the police carried raids at various places and arrested two of his associates Aquib Bashir and Gazi Fayaz were arrested along with the two AK rifles from Shopian. Last month, police also arrested his third associate Abid Bhat from Hapatpora village of Shopian along with a rifle.