Terminated head constable Abdul Ahad Jan, who hit the headlines in 2010 after he hurled shoe at chief minister Omar Abdullah and raised pro-freedom slogans, was arrested in an extortion case on Tuesday in south Kashmir.
Preliminary reports suggested that Jan had stopped a truck on Srinagar-Jammu highway in uniform and boarded it in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, 40 km south of Srinagar. The truck, which was driven by a driver from Punjab, was heading towards Jammu.
"Near Lethpora area in Pampore, Jan asked the driver to show papers of the vehicle. Once the driver opened drawer of the truck, Rs 38,000 lying there caught attention of Jan. He asked the driver to hand over the money. But the driver resisted and raised a hue and cry," said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.
The driver has been identified as Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, Punjab. The police have booked Jan for extortion and arrested him.
In 2010, Jan breached high security entered the VIP lounge at Srinagar's Bakshi Stadium on August 15 and hurled shoe at Omar Abdullah while he was delivering Independence Day speech. He also waved black flag and raised pro-freedom slogans. The act came at the peak of the 2010 street uprising, which had left more than 50 civilian dead by that time in street protests.
Jan shot to become separatists icon and received rousing welcome in his native village in Bandipora, 40 km north-east of Srinagar. On August 18, 2010, the chief minister invited him home and forgave him for his act, but later he faced axe from the job.
The head constable, who, according to the police was mentally disturbed in 2010, was awarded a cash prize in 1992 for saving the lives of senior police officers in a militant attack in Srinagar. Jan was suspended in May, 2010 for being drunk on duty.
Tuesday's incident has ended the leap of the once brave cop, who once saved police official, then suspended for drinking during duty hours and finally selling himself as separatist icon. And within three years, turning out to be an extortionist.