A special police officer (SPO), who was deployed with a People’s Democratic Party MLA, ran off with seven rifles from the lawmaker’s residence in Srinagar.

Officials said that the SPO was posted with legislator Aijaz Ahmad Mir representing Wachi constituency of Shopian district. The SPO, who also hails from Shopian, had fled off with seven rifles from Mir’s official residence at Jawhar Nagar, a senior police officer said.

“We have started investigation into this incident,” the officer added.

In the last few years, there have been several incidents of policemen and SPOs deserting the force along with weapons to join militant groups have been reported.

In March 2015, policemen Naseer Ahmad Pandit posted at the residence of former minister and legislator Altaf Bukhari decamped with two rifles and joined militant group Hizbul Mujahideen. He was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir.

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