SRINAGAR: Sending security agencies into a tizzy, Hizbul Mujahideen Wednesday claimed that two Jammu and Kashmir Police cops, who recently disappeared along with their arms and ammunition from Doda, have joined the militant outfit.

The absconding cops have been identified as Bashir Ahmed and Muhammad Reyaz, both residents of Doda. Police sources said before joining the force, they had links with militants and have apparently switched sides again.

In a statement quoting the Hizb chief, Syed Salahuddin, the militant outfit''s spokesperson, Salim Hashmi, while appreciating the decision of the cops, said "even the Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel" have “started understanding the relevance and importance of Kashmir's freedom struggle”.

“Bashir Ahmed and Muhammad Reyaz have joined Hizb along with two AK-47 guns and one Insas Rifle. They are the inspiration for those working in Jammu and Kashmir police," Salahuddin said, according to the statement.

However, a senior police officer said the two accused were posted in District Police Lines of Doda and were not SOG members, "So far we have no information on their whereabouts but we are in touch with their families," the officer said.

The news has rattled the security agencies in J&K amid reports of fresh recruitment by the militant outfit, especially in the southern part of Kashmir Valley.

According to a census by the J&K Police, at least 33 young boys, most of them well-read and belonging to financially sound families, picked up arms this year alone.

Hizb's south Kashmir operations are carried out by its 21-year-old divisional commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, who has become the poster boy of "New Insurgency" in Kashmir.

In a recently released video, Burhan urged the people of Kashmir, including the policemen, to join him in the "freedom movement".

"We hope that in coming time, more and more cops, in a bid to shatter the haughtiness of pro-Indian actors will join militant ranks,” the Hizb spokesperson said.

“During the meeting it was reiterated that freedom struggle will continue with vigour till it is not taken to its logical conclusion. India should read the writing on the wall. Any more delay will cause immense problems for it,” he said.