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Hizb to police: ‘You have 3 days to release our relatives’

Monitor Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 31: Hizb ul Mujahideen’s Operational Commander, Riyaz Naikoo, on Friday warned police to release within three days the militants’ relatives held “without any reason” or “face the consequences”.

In his latest audio message, released in the evening, Naikoo said, “We are giving you (police) a final warning. Release all our relatives whom you have detained without any reason. You know we cannot keep them (relatives of policemen) in captivity. We have only one punishment.”

“You destroy our brothers’ career…and slap them with Public Safety Act to earn money and promotions,” he said.

“Release all our family members within three days. Our family members will not become an obstacle in our actions. We are in lakhs and you are in hundreds.”

Naikoo’s message came after the government forces allegedly harassed militants’ families in south Kashmir.

Father of Naikoo was also detained by the forces during a raid at Awantipora. He was released on Friday.

Families of several militants have also accused the forces of setting their houses ablaze and damaging their properties.

In response, the militants kidnapped the family members of several policemen on Thursday night.

The Hizb commander has asked the police “not to involve families in the war”.

“You forced us to kidnap your kin to make you feel what we feel when police harass our families. How a mother would be feeling when her son is taken away. We also abducted them to let you know that we are capable of reaching them as well,” he said.

“We have let your family members go unhurt this time. In future, this won’t happen. We will deal with them according to your actions,” Naikoo warned.

He said the militants’ target was not the policemen nor did they consider them their enemies.

“If it was so, we would have forced you to migrate in a month. From now onwards, whoever comes in our way, will have to face consequences,” he said. “Our war is with anyone who comes in our way, be it Abdul Rahman or Ram Kishan.”

Police, he claimed, has become the “front line of this war”.

“Now we won’t let this become our weakness,” he said. “If a policeman says that we are bound with officers and law, we tell such men to resign. Then we can deal with such officers, who have to live in the same society.”

He claimed that police have caused more harm to the “freedom movement” then the army.

“You have committed more atrocities against civilians than the army and paramilitary forces,” he said, asking the police personnel to get “out of militants way or be ready for consequences”.

“We know that when you come home, you keep your pyjamas above your ankles and use a prayer cap. But when you are in police stations, you are like Hitler,” he said.

The Hizb commander said police was to implement the peace.

“Your job is to arrest thieves, drug smugglers, and gamblers, as you used to do before ‘90s. Do that, and no one shall harm you. You should have supported us. Once your services are done, India will do the same to your kids,” he said, asking police to remember “what was done to the Muslims in Amritsar”.

He said if policemen didn’t mend their ways militants would ban all police employment.

“After that, if any cop doesn’t resign, we will kill him wherever he may be,” he warned.

He said, “Over 6 lakh Kashmiris have sacrificed their lives for the freedom movement.”

“We all Kashmiris have to respect their sacrifices and take the mission of martyrs to logical end,” he said.

Apparently taking on mainstream parties, he said that they “have sold” their conscience to government of India.

“India wants to suppress the Kashmiris movement at the power. India wants to weaken the freedom movement to ensure that Kashmiris fight themselves. Even policemen are at the front during encounters. Police impose PSAs on youth and harass our families. You are enemies of our mission,” he said.

“Even if you (police) want to involve our families in this war, we are ready.”