Inquiry Suggests Absconding Cop Joined Militancy, Say Police

31 March 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: The initial investigation by the police has revealed that the absconding policeman, who fled along with two assault rifles from the residence of PWD Minister Altaf Bukhari, has joined militant ranks in south Kashmir. Sources privy to the investigation said the absconding policeman Naseer Ahmad Pandith, a resident of Kalamabad village in militancy-hit Pulwama district, along with three other boys gone missing from the area had joined militant ranks. Tariq Pandith, Afaq Bhat and Bilal Bhat were missing from the area. One of the missing youth is a son of a head constable. 'Our investigation so far has found that Pandith has joined militant ranks along with these three missing boys from the same village,' a police officer said, adding that a manhunt was on to track them. Pandith, who was posted at Bukhari's residence in the Sheikh Bagh neighbourhood of Lal Chowk, had fled with two AK rifles and some ammunition on Saturday. He had joined the police in 2007 and was a part of two dozen security men who were guarding the residence of senior minister. After he fled, the J&K Police had registered a case against him and started investigation. The Police had also raided the residence of the absconding policeman in Pulwama district, but could not find him. They, however, recovered the vehicle which was used by him to run away from Srinagar.