Photo of him waving rifle with four militants went viral.
Srinagar: The Special police officer (SPO) Adil Bashir Sheikh, who had decamped with seven service rifles and one pistol from the guard-room at the official residence of a lawmaker on Friday has joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the frontline Kashmiri militant outfit.
A photograph showing him brandishing a rifle with four other militants has gone viral on social networking platforms including Facebook. The gun in Sheikh’s hands has a Hizb label written in Urdu. J&K’s director general of police Dilbagh Singh had said at the weekend that as per preliminary investigations into Sheikh’s fleeing from the place of duty along with the service weapons of the other police guards at the residence of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) legislator Aijaz Ahmed Mir had revealed that he had been in touch with the militants for some time.
The police chief also said that strict action is being taken against those whose “irresponsibility” led to the incident. “Those who have not done their duty with responsibility will be dealt with strictly,” he had said. All the policemen in the group have been placed under suspension and are being questioned by their seniors over the incident, which has caused embarrassment to the police department.
Soon after the incident, the authorities had sounded a high alert across Srinagar district and along the routes leading to South Kashmir. The police also announced a cash reward of Rs 200, 000 for providing information that may lead to the arrest of Sheikh.
The officials have not ruled out possibility of calling the lawmaker who resided at J-11, government quarters in Srinagar’s Jawahar Nagar area for questioning. Sheikh, a resident of Zainpora in southern Shopian district was engaged as SPO on March 11, 2017, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the police sources said that the investigation have also revealed that a civilian who also is a resident of Shopian assisted the SPO in the crime. A manhunt has been launched to arrest him, the sources said. The sources added that Sheikh’s joining the Hizb has not come as a surprise.