Jammu: The self-proclaimed divisional commander of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HUJI) was among two top militants who escaped from police custody in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. Four police officers have been arrested in this connection for negligence in duty.

"We have arrested four cops, who were in-charge of security of the two militants, and a case has been registered against them at the police station, Batote. They have also been suspended for dereliction of duty", Superintendent of Police (SP) Ramban Anil Magotra said on Thursday.

Divisional Commander of HUJI Sher Khan and Jameel Abbas alias Abdullah escaped from police custody after they took the excuse of attending the call of nature at an isolated slope between Patnitop and Batote, about 120-kms from here, in Ramban district on Wednesday night, he said.

Police has brought them to Kishtwar on Wednesday morning for their appearance in the court. After court attendance, the two were being brought back from Kishtwar to Udhampur when Khan and Abdullah pleaded for attending to the nature's call at Patnitop, he said.

The cops stopped the police vehicle and allowed the militants to move towards a slope. Cops watched for few minutes but the militants did not return. They moved towards the slope and found the militants absconding. The cops sounded an alarm and informed Batote Police, he said.

"We have cordoned off all possible routes and have launched a search operation in the forest area since last evening but nothing positive have achieved so far", the SP said.

The search operation in other adjoining two districts of Doda and Kishtwar were also launched, he said.

Sher Khan, a divisional commander of HUJI, had surrendered in November 2007 in Kishtwar. He was a resident of Chatroo area of Kishtwar district and was involved in a series of cases of killings and other militant activities in the district. Abdullah, a resident of Reasi district, was also involved in various militant activities.