The Hizbul Mujahideen claimed on Sunday that the Jammu & Kashmir police constable, who decamped with four assault rifles from central Kashmir's Budgam district, has joined them.
The spokesman added that Hizbul expects more local policemen to join the "freedom struggle".
The constable identified as Syed Naveed Mushtaq who joined the department in 2012 fled away with four guns and ammunition.
Besides police confirmation, militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen also confirmed the entry of police constable into the militant organization.More news: South Korea's Moon appoints top ministers and security adviser
"We have launched a manhunt to track down the missing cop", said Inspector General of Police Munir Khan. Mushtaq is a resident of Nazneenpora village in south Kashmir's Shopian district. He was arrested about a month-and-a-half later from Kulgam. In 2015, a Peoples Democratic Party leader's guard, Naseer Ahmad Pandit of the 11 battalion of J&K Armed Police, joined the Hizbul Mujahideen along with two service rifles.
In the last two years two such incidents have been reported in the Valley where two policemen decamped with the service rifles of fellow cops and later joined militants.
He was subsequently killed in an encounter in Shopian district in April 2016.