A Jammu and Kashmir policeman, who was on leave, has joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror outfit, the authorities said on Saturday.

Selection grade constable Ishfaq Ahmad Dar, who was posted at Police Training Centre in Kathua district in the state, was reported missing after he failed to return from his leave on Monday.

“After coming home, the constable went missing and a report was lodged by his family.

“It is now learnt that he has joined the LeT outfit,” the authorities said, adding the matter was still being investigated.

A photograph of Ishfaq Dar wielding an AK-47 assault rifle has also appeared on social media.

According to media reports, in the last two years, around half-a-dozen policemen have deserted the force and joined militancy in Kashmir.

Also, policemen have been under attack from the militants. Several policemen have been killed, attacked and their homes ransacked by suspected militants, seen as warnings to local police personnel to stop participating in counter-insurgency operations.

In June, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mohammad Ayub Pandith, was lynched by a violent mob in the Nowhatta area of Srinagar.

In October, militants killed a Special Police Officer (SPO) in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier on 25 October, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti urged police personnel not to attack families of militants.

While speaking at the passing out parade of recruits at the police training centre in Ganderbal district, Mehbooba Mufti said: “Do not attack families of militants just because they (militants) attack families of policemen. You must maintain the difference.”

Mehbooba had said policemen were facing many difficulties in the discharge of their duties, but they had set an example of discipline and sacrifice.

(With agency inputs)