Security forces on Monday arrested two suspected militants, who were allegedly behind the theft of an INSAS rifle and ammunition from a police barrack, after a brief gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.
According to security personnel, Shopian residents Mukhtar Ahmed and Aijaz Ahmed Parray, both 22, were trying to reach the Valley after stealing the rifle with three magazines and 49 live rounds from a police barrack at Shahdra Sharief near Thanamandi town.
Rajouri SSP Yougal Manhas said the two tried to dodge security personnel at a checkpost at Thanamandi Chowk and drive towards Dehra Ki Gali on Mughal road, which connects Poonch and Shopian districts.
The men also allegedly fired at security personnel in their bid to escape, but were intercepted and later arrested.
A case under various provisions of Ranbir Penal Code, Indian Arms Act and Unlawful Activities Act has been registered against the militants, the SSP said, adding that during questioning, the duo told police that they stolen the weapon and ammunition when the policemen deputed at the barrack had gone to offer namaz.
The policeman whose rifle was stolen has been suspended and attached to the district police lines pending departmental inquiry in the matter, he said.
Sources said Ahmed and Parray were involved in some militancy-related cases lodged at Zainapura police station.
They were planning to join Hizbul Mujahideen and were in touch with the outfit’s commander Zeenat-ul-Islam, who operates in South Kashmir, the SSP said.