An Army man from Shopian who was missing for the past few days is suspected to have joined militancy, police said. A photograph was uploaded on social media by militants Monday, showing Idrees Sultan Mir holding an AK-47 rifle and announcing that he joined the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Police sources said that Mir was working with Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) and was posted in Jharkhand. He came home on vacation and was missing for the past few days.
“The family filed a missing report only Monday,” Deputy Inspector General of south Kashmir Amit Kumar told The Indian Express. “The family told us he works with the Army. We are investigating.”
When contacted, Defence spokesman Col N N Joshi told The Indian Express they are “ascertaining the details”. However, Army sources confirmed that Mir was working with JAKLI in Jharkhand. Mir was in the second year of his BA course when he joined the Army, they added.
The development comes barely a fortnight after Mir’s neighbour Yawar Ahmad Yatoo was killed in an encounter at Draggad village of Shopian. Yawar and six associates were killed on April 1.
Another Army man is believed to have joined militancy last year. In July, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat from Pulwama district fled from his Army post in Uri. Bhat’s picture, too, was uploaded by militants on social media.
Two policemen from south Kashmir, Ishfaq Ahmad Dar and Syed Naveed also joined militants. While Dar joined Lashkar-e-Toiba, Naveed is associated with Hizbul Mujahideen.
Mir is from Safanagri village in Shopian’s Wachi constituency. The area has a significant presence of militants, especially of Hizbul Mujahideen. Wachi legislator Ajaz Ahmad Mir said he had reports that three boys from his area joined militants in three days after the April 1 twin encounters in Shopian.