The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Friday arrested an associate of a militant after a brief gunfight in Chadoora area of Budgam district. The militant was a special police officer, identified as Altaf Hassan Bhat, who had gone missing with two AK-47 rifles and three magazines on October 14.

“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,” the police said in a statement.

However, the militant and his associate started firing at the the joint team of security forces. “During the ensuing gunfight, the deserter special police officer managed to escape, but his associate was captured alive,” the police added.

The associate has been identified as Jahangir Ahmad Bhat, an overground worker and a stone pelter. One of the AK-47 rifles taken away by the special police officer was recovered from Bhat’s possession.

Six ‘terrorist associates’ held

The Jammu and Kashmir Police have also arrested six people for allegedly providing logistic support to militants to carry out attacks on security forces, PTI reported on Friday. Five security personnel have died in the three attacks – two of which took place on August 14 and one on October 5 – while several were injured.

The arrests came after special teams were formed to investigate the three attacks, all of which took place close to the national highway.

“The investigating teams used technical as well as human intelligence to identify some suspects involved in these attacks,” a police spokesperson told PTI. The teams had launched a series of raids in Chadoora, Budgam, Nowgam and other areas of Srinagar. “These teams were able to arrest six terrorist associates who had provided shelter, transportation and also conducted recce of the security force deployments where the above mentioned attacks were later on carried out by the terrorists,” he added.

The spokesperson said that the teams have seized six vehicles used in these attacks and identified the house where the militants were hiding.

On August 14, two police personnel were killed while another was injured in a militant attack at Gulshan Nagar Nowgam A Central Reserve Police Force jawan was killed in another attack at Kaisermullah in Chadoora on the same day. In both the attacks, militants had snatched the weapons of the security forces personnel. On October 5, two CRPF soldiers were killed in an attack while four sustained injuries.