Lieutenant General JS Sandhu said the army is tracking the whereabouts of the soldier from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district who deserted the camp. “There is no confirmation of Zahoor Ahmad Thokar (who had left his unit) joining militant ranks. We are tracking him,” Lt Gen Sandhu told news agency ANI on Saturday.
Thokar was posted at TA battalion at Gantmulla in Baramulla district and had deserted his camp during the intervening night of July 5 and 6 along with a service rifle. Officials suspected that he might have joined militant ranks.
A resident of Sirnoo village, officials said that Thokar has decamped with AK 47 rifle and three magazines. Army has issued an alert to its formations in the Valley to remain alert after the incident. They have also launched a manhunt to track Thokar. There have been many instances of policemen decamping with rifles and joining militancy, especially in South Kashmir, which form the basis for the Army’s suspicions.