The plan to loot weapons from the official residence of Congress leader Muzaffar Parray in Srinagar was hatched by his former Personal Security Officer (PSO), who has now joined militant ranks, police sources said.
Sources privy to the investigations of the case revealed that Parray’s former PSO Showkat Khan along with three Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants were behind the weapon loot incident at J-37 Government Quarters in high security Jawahar Nagar area in Srinagar last month.
“Four persons were involved in looting weapons from Congress leader’s residence. The act was planned by Showkat,” a reliable source said.
On December 30, four AK rifles were looted from Parray’s residence at J-37 Government Quarters at Jawahar Nagar when he was out of Kashmir. Three of his PSOs were on unauthorised leave and another, who was present at the quarter, was overpowered by unknown men before looting weapons from the guard room of the quarter.
As a fall-out of weapon loot, all the four PSOs were later dismissed from police service for dereliction of duties while SSP security Kashmir, Maqsood-ul-Zaman was attached with the security headquarters possibly for his lack of supervision.
Following the incident, police investigators suspected role of Showkat into the incident as during the investigation, it has surfaced that he had visited the place 20 minutes before weapons were looted.
According to a police investigator, Showkat has now become active with militants although his picture has not surfaced on social media, the style otherwise used by new militant recruits to announce their joining militancy in the Valley.
“As per our inputs, he has become active with militants,” he said.
Sources said after technical analysis, Showkat had emerged as main suspect in the case as the weapon looters apparently knew the exact location of the trunk in which the four rifles were stored.
The former PSO of congress leader, according to a source, made sporadic visits and met Parray even after his transfer.
“Showkat knew everything including the exact location of the weapon storage. The investigation is still going on,” said a police source.
The weapon loot incident was second of its kind at the government quarters at Jawahar Nagar.
On September 28 last year, Special Police Officer Adil Bashir Sheikh of Zainpora, Shopian fled away with seven weapons of his colleagues from the official residence of former MLA Wachi, Aijaz Ahmad Mir.
Sheikh, who was part of Mir’s security, later joined militant ranks in south Kashmir.