Policemen turn pro-freedom rebels: a brief history

A special police officer who is missing from past two days and has taken four service guns along may have joined pro-freedom rebels, police sources believe. Shakoor Ahmad Parrey is not the first one to switch sides in Kashmir where an anti-India insurgency is looming now in the third decade.

A brief history:

In September, last year, two special police officers fled with their service rifles in Doda district of Jammu region. Reyaz Ahmed and Gul Muhammad – both residents of Doda district – were associated with Hizb ul Mujahideen outfit before they turned in and joined police. The duo also managed to take some AK 47 magazines along with them

In November last year a special police officer from south Kashmir reportedly joined pro-freedoom rebels. Rakib Bashir, a resident of Zodur in Pulwom district, went missing on November 10.

While the police said they were verifying facts after Bashir’s parents lodged a missing person report, sources said the policeman, who was engaged by the police almost a month back, had joined pro-freedom ranks. “The SPO has joined militant ranks and we are ascertaining which militant group he has joined,” said a senior police officer in Srinagar. “The policeman had some association with militant groups in the past as well,” the officer had said, adding he did not flee with any weapon.

Earlier in 2014, police constable Naseer Ahmad Pandit (29) from south Kashmir joined the Hizb ul Mujahideen. He was posted at the residence of former minister Altaf Bukhari in the Sheikh Bagh neighbourhood of Lal Chowk. Naseer fled on March 28 with two rifles. Later, he joined Burhan Wani group, which is the new face of militancy in Kashmir. Burhan, who carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh, has been spearheading the social media campaign of the Hizb to attract the youth towards militancy. Last year, over 40 youths had joined militants in the Kashmir region and most of them belonged to south Kashmir.

In 2012, Policeman Abdul Rashid Shigan alias Molvi alias Omer Mukhtar, a resident of Lachamanpora Batmaluen, and Imitiyaz Ahmad Gojri alias Amir, a resident of Nowakadal Tengpora Srinagar were arrested for their involvement in 18 militant cases in Srinagar over the period of 18 months. The module carried out 13 major attacks without any handlers from across the border or directions from any outfit. Police officials claim that Shigan would procure arms from militant groups like Hizbul Mujahideen.

In 2016, Shakoor Ahmad along with two youth from his village went on run and took four rifles along with them. Shakoor was a former pro-freedom rebel who had turned in.