Kashmir: Territorial Army soldier goes missing with service rifle, ammunition

Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard in Srinagar on July 6, 2017. (Representative image) Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 06, 2017, 01.31 PM (IST)

An alert has gone out in the Kashmir Valley after a soldier posted with 173 Battalion of Territorial Army (Engineers) is thought to have absconded, carrying a service rifle and ammunition, according to media reports.

Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, a resident of Pukwama's Sirnoo, had been installed in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

According to an official, "Thokar deserted the army on the intervening night of July 5-6. He has ran away with the service assault rifle and three magazines."

Police have issued a major alert in the valley, posting by official communique: "All field formations are alerted."

Security agencies suspect Thokar may have joined militancy, but there is no confirmation on whether or not he has.

The Army has never had a soldier abscond to join militants, but in the past year there were several instances of policemen decamping with their service weapons to join the militancy in south Kashmir.