SRINAGAR: Three persons who had gone missing from north Kashmir's Kupwara district last month are believed to have crossed over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir, allegedly to help the security agencies in counter-insurgency operations.

A senior Jammu and Kashmir Police officer said the two men, Mir Hussain Khatana, 45, and Ghulam Jeelani Khatana, 47, regularly helped militants in crossing over to other side of Kashmir and also worked with the Army as porters.

Police sources said the two men had no regular income due to the loss of their jobs as porters and were reportedly in touch with the local Territorial Army man, Manzoor Ahmad, who had promised to arrange them some work.

The fate of the third missing person, Ali Mohammad Sheikh, 40, is also not known yet.

"It is a common practice for local guides to work as spies. Sometimes, they barter the militants by alerting the forces and get them killed in ambushes for money. On other occasions, they double-cross the forces and let in infiltrators without making a fuss," the police officer said.

Manzoor Ahmad, the local Army man who has been arrested by J&K Police in connection with the case, has reportedly confessed that he was in touch with the missing persons but, sources said, he has "no idea" about their whereabouts.

A local court Monday has extended his police remand till December 19.

"Manzoor has confessed that he was in touch with the trio. However, after meeting them, he doesn’t know where they left for. We have covered a lot of ground in the case and special teams have been formed to trace the missing persons,” DIG (North), Gareeb Dass, said.

The trio have been missing since November 17 with their distressed families approaching the court following which a case of abduction was registered. The families are apprehensive that their kin may have been bumped off by the security forces and passed off as militants.

The court in Kupwara Monday directed the police to scrutinise the call records of the missing trio and assess whether the accused was really in Keran sector when his phone was out of reach and ascertain if the missing persons were accompanying him.