Army soldier suspected to have joined Hizbul, Kashmir police investigating | india news | Hindustan Times
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Army soldier suspected to have joined Hizbul, Kashmir police investigating

Photograph of Idrees Sultan Mir holding an assault rifle surfaced on social media on Monday.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2018 21:27 IST
Abhishek Saha
Indian Army soldiers take positions outside the Sunjuwan military station in Jammu. A soldier from Kashmir is suspected to have joined the Hizbul Mujahideen after a photograph of him brandishing an assault rifle surfaced on social media.
Indian Army soldiers take positions outside the Sunjuwan military station in Jammu. A soldier from Kashmir is suspected to have joined the Hizbul Mujahideen after a photograph of him brandishing an assault rifle surfaced on social media.(AFP File Photo/For Representation)

A soldier from Kashmir has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), army officials in Delhi confirmed on Monday after a photograph of Idrees Sultan Mir brandishing an assault rifle surfaced on social media.

The 23-year-old, who joined the army three years ago, was on leave since April 7 and went missing on April 13-14, the officials said. Mir was posted in Bihar’s Danapur.

“Details are being ascertained,” said Col Rajesh Kalia, a Srinagar-based defence spokesperson.

It is common for young men in the Valley to announce their allegiance to militant outfits through social media by releasing pictures with weapons and in fatigues.

The text slapped on the photo of Mir, also known as Chota Abrar, says he joined the home-grown militant outfit on April 15.

It goes on to say Mir, a native of Wachi in Shopian in south Kashmir, was with the army’s Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry unit and was posted in Bihar.

A senior police officer in Shopian confirmed that Mir was had been missing for a few days. “We are ascertaining the details of the case,” the officer said on condition of anonymity, adding his family had informed police a few days ago that their son was missing.

In July last, a Kashmiri soldier, Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, deserted his unit, took away his service rifle and joined the Hizbul, which is active in south Kashmir and has local youth in its ranks.

Thokar, a native of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, was posted in Baramullah in north Kashmir.

Mir’s desertion comes a few days after a man from Assam, missing since July 2017, took to social media to announce he had joined the Hizbul, which has suffered a string of losses in recent months with security forces stepping up the offensive in the Valley.

(With inputs from HT Correspondent in New Delhi)