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KASHMIR

Soldier deserts army, joins Hizb

Idrees Ahmad Mir, who was posted with Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, went missing from his home at Safanagri- Zainapora in Shopian district.
KHALID GUL
Shopian | Posted : Apr 17 2018 1:22AM | Updated: Apr 17 2018 12:00AM
Soldier deserts army, joins Hizb
Representational Pic

A soldier who had deserted the army about a month ago has joined HizbulMujahideen. 

Idrees Ahmad Mir, who was posted with Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) regiment, went missing from his home at Safanagri- Zainapora in Shopian district.

“He joined the group along with two locals who also were missing,” a police official said on the condition of anonymity.

Mir’s embrace of militancy came to light in the signature way the youth announce their entry into an armed outfit nowadays: pose with an AK-47 rifle and post the picture on social media networking sites. 

The picture says that Mir has adopted HafzaHizbi and ChotaAbrar as noms de guerre. Mir joined Hizb in the backdrop of the killing of 12 militants of the outfit in a single day earlier this month.

“We had hoped that the killing would halt recruitment for some time in Shopian but the situation on ground is completely in contrast,” the police official said.

Mir is the second soldier from southern Kashmir to have deserted the army for insurgents.

In July last year, Zahoor Ahmad Thokar of Sirnoo, Pulwama, who was posted with 173 Territorial Army in Gantmulla, Baramulla, also had joined Hizb.

A policeman, Ishfaq Ahmad Dar, from Heff, Shopian, deserted the police and joined Hizb when he was on leave in October last year. Heff is home to many top active militants including Hizb commander SadamPaddar. 

Three militants, including LeT commander Wasim Shah, from the same village were killed last year.

In May last year, constable Syed NaveedMushtaq, a resident of Shopian district, fled with four INSAS rifles from the guard post at the Food Corporation of India godown at Chondpora in Budgam and later joined Hizb.

On 27 March2015, Naseer Ahmad Pandit, a resident of Karimabad village of Pulwama district, decamped with two AK rifles from the residence of education minister AltafBukhari's residence, where he was posted as a guard.

He rose to become a close confidante of Hizb commander BurhanWani.

Pandit was killed in an encounter with forces along with another top militant, WasimMalla, in Vihil village of Shopian on 7 April last year. His killing was termed by the police as a jolt to militancy in southern Kashmir. The police said he was an able recruiter and also used to provide arms training to his associates.

 Syed Rakib Bashir, another cop from of Zadoora-Pulwama, went missing in November 2015 only a day after joining police as a special police officer (SPO).  He was killed in a gunfight three months later.

 In January 2016, Shakoor Ahmad Parray of Kumdalan village of Shopian, a security guard with a police officer in Bijbehara, ran away with four rifles to join militants. However, he was arrested after a few days.