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.
Security agencies suspect Thokar?may have joined militancy, but there is no confirmation