Killings followed by cops’ ‘resignations’; Police denies, Centre says ‘propaganda’
Srinagar, Sep 21: Soon after three policemen were abducted and killed in south Kashmir just days after Hizbul Mujahideen posted a video with a ‘resign or get killed’ threat, at least seven cops posted their resignation videos.
Earlier on Friday, three Special Police Officers (SPOs) and a police constable were kidnapped from their houses in Shopian. Later, bullet-ridden bodies of three policemen were recovered from an orchard in Shopian.
The killings triggered panic in the lower ranks of the police department and at least six cops issued video messages dissociating themselves from the police force, reports said.
“My name is Irshad Ahmad Baba and I was working as a constable in the police. I have rendered my resignation…,” said one of them in a video being widely circulated on social media in Srinagar.
Tajalla Hussain Lone, another SPO, said he had resigned from the police department on September 17 and was issuing the video to put to rest any doubts that he had done so.
“My name is Nawaz Ahmad Lone, resident of Kulgam. I was working as an SPO, I am resigning of my own free will, not because of any compulsion,” a report quoted a cop as saying in the video.
Another cop said, “My name is Shabir Ahmad Thokar, son of Ghulam Mohammad Thokar. I was working as an SPO for last eight years. Through this video l want tell everybody that from today I have no relation with police department”.
J&K police, however, claimed that no policeman had resigned.
A spokesman of the police said that the news about the resigning of SPOs in J&K is baseless. “No SPO, or policeman has resigned, these are just rumors,” he said.
The Home Ministry too reacted to the resignations calling such reports a “false propaganda” by “mischievous” elements.
In a statement, the ministry said reports have appeared in a section of the media that some special police officers (SPOs) in Jammu and Kashmir have resigned, but the state police has confirmed that these reports are “untrue and motivated”.
“These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements,” it said.
The Home Ministry said Jammu and Kashmir has a “professional and committed” police force, which is fully geared up to meet the security challenges, including those related to the forthcoming panchayat and urban body elections.
“There are over 30,000 SPOs and their services are reviewed from time to time. Some mischievous elements are trying to project that those SPOs whose services are not renewed due to administrative reasons, have resigned,” it said.
The ministry said militants are on the “back foot” in Jammu and Kashmir and 28 militants have been neutralised this year alone in Shopian district, where the Friday incident took place.
“Due to pro-active actions of the state police, militants have been pushed to a corner and are being driven to desperation,” it said.
Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen on Tuesday posted a video threatening the government forces, especially SPOs, in the state to either resign in four days or get ready to be killed. The video has gone viral on social media in Jammu and Kashmir.
The video asked people to “quit their jobs and upload evidence of their resignation on the internet.”
The outfit also threatened to kill the family members of those who “stay back” at work.
In April, Over a dozen Special Police Officers (SPOs) announced their resignation in south Kashmir’s Tral. The resignations came after a Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander gave a week’s time to the SPOs to announce their resignation.
After the continuous killings of policemen, JK police also reasserted an advisory asking their men not to visit their homes for more than two to three hours and also inform local police stations about their visit.
So far this year, around 35 Jammu Kashmir policemen were targeted and killed in encounters when they visited their homes or native villages.
On August 23, militants killed three policemen, including an inspector across southern Kashmir, when they were visited their homes.