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Militant associate arrested in J-K’s Budgam, weapon seized

A militant associate was arrested on Friday after a brief shootout in Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

“On a specific input regarding presence of a police deserter (SPO), who had decamped with two AK-47 rifles two days ago, along with his associate in Chadoora area of Budgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the police, Army and CRPF,” a police spokesman said.

He said as the joint team of security forces reached near the target location, the SPO-turned-militant along with his associate started firing indiscriminately.

The firing was retaliated by the joint team leading to a brief gunfight, the spokesman said.

“During the ensuing gunfight, the deserter special police officer (SPO) managed to escape, but his associate was captured alive,” he said.

The captured militant associate has been identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, an overground worker and a notorious stone pelter, the spokesman said.

One of the AK-47 rifles taken away by the deserter SPO was recovered from the possession of the accused, he said.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar appreciated the police and security forces for showing maximum restraint by arresting the terrorist associate during live encounter.

He also appealed the family of deserter SPO Altaf to help the police in bringing him back.

In another operation, security forces arrested SSB constable Altaf Hussain, who had gone missing along with ammunition from Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

He was arrested from Rajouri district on Friday, police officials said.

Hussain had gone missing from the camp at Nagam area near Chadoora with one magazine of INSAS rifle and 20 rounds on October 13. He belonged to Rehan village of Koteranka tehsil of Rajouri district.

He was apprehended by police from his native district along with ammunition, police added.

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