After SPO decamps with eight rifles, DGP JK announces 2 lakh reward for capture

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Srinagar: After a personal security officer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir reportedly decamped with at least eight weapons including the licensed pistol of the legislator from his official residence in Srinagar on Friday, Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh has announced a reward of over 2 lakh rupees on his capture along with weapons.

In a statement issued last evening, a police spokesman said that personal security officer of Mir, the MLA from southern Wachi constituency in Shopian district, approached police station Rajbagh and stated that the weapons of seven PSOs attached with the legislator were missing from his official residence in Jawahar Nagar—the area housing official residences of officers and legislators.

“The role of SPO Adil Bashir of Zainpora, Shopian in the commission of crime was also alleged,” the spokesman said, adding that a police party reached the place of occurrence and took cognisance of the matter.

A case with FIR number 57/18 was lodged in police station Rajbagh and the investigation was taken up, the spokesman said, adding that Rs 2 lakh has been announced as reward for anyone capturing the SPO with weapons.

A police official told Greater Kashmir that the incident happened at 6:30 pm when the SPO had entered J-11 quarter (official residence of MLA Mir) to “clean the rooms.” The PDP legislator is in Jammu for the past 12 days, he said.

The official said that the police have sounded a high alert across Srinagar while all routes leading to southern Kashmir are being monitored closely. Nakas have been laid in several city areas, in a bid to nab the SPO, the official said.

SPO Adil, aged 24, (belt No. 488/SPO), hails from Zainapora, the native village of the PDP legislator.

Additional director general of police (law and order/security), Munir Khan confirmed that the SPO has fled with seven AK-47 rifles and a pistol.

“We are looking into how the SPO managed to flee with so many guns,” Khan said. “We will also find out whether all this has been done in connivance with militants. All angles are being looked into.”

The ADGP said that the police will also investigate all “possible loopholes.”

A senior police officer said that the incident took place at a time when the MLA’s personal security guards had gone to their homes since he was out of station.

“The guards had kept their guns in a locked trunk. The question arises how he managed to flee with the weapons,” he said.

Mir, according to the police, has a security cover of eight policemen at present.

GK quoted a source saying that it would be probed whether rules allow personal security of legislators to keep their weapons locked in a trunk and go on leave.

“Given the past incidents of rifle snatching across Kashmir, especially in southern areas, the police had asked its men to deposit their rifles with their parent units before proceeding on leave,” he said. “This angle will also be investigated.”

In absence of MLA at his residence, SPO Adil had managed his entry into the quarter on the pretext of cleaning its rooms, an official said.

“He would make tea for guests at times. The MLA being his neighbor in Zainapora,(Shopian), the SPO was one of his trusted guards,” said a source. “But the question is whether it is the job of the SPO to clean the house.”

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