Srinagar: Three policemen were abducted and killed by suspected Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Friday in Shopian district of south Kashmir, days after the outfit threatened officers to either quit government jobs or face death. The incident has triggered fear among special police officers, forcing four to resign.
The bodies were recovered from an orchard in Wangam area, more than a kilometre from the village the policemen were abducted from.
The martyred have been identified as constable Nissar Ahmed and two special police officers (SPOs) — Firdous Ahmed and Kulwant Singh — from Kapren and Heepora areas of Shopian district. Police said the residents of Batagund village had chased the terrorists and urged them not to abduct the policemen, but the militants fired a few shots in the air and and threatened the villagers.
Nissar Ahmed was working with the armed police, Firdous Ahmed, who was under process of being converted to constable, served in the Railways. Kulwant Singh was posted with Kulgam police. The terrorists had also kidnapped the brother of a police constable but he was released later.
Police suspect that militants of Hizbul Mujahideen are behind the abduction as they had threatened security forces and government employees in the state of dire consequences if they 'don’t quit their jobs within four days'.
The two-minute video reportedly shows pictures of security forces and a Hizbul banner with a voice-over issuing the threat. The voice in the video is believed to be of spokesperson Umar Ibn Khitaab, whose name appears in English. The voice also said that a member of the group was "in the locality" with a message for the families of security forces.
A Twitter handle purportedly belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen group has claimed responsibility for the abduction and killing.
Soon after the incident, as many as 10 cops from south Kashmir are reported to have resigned. Many of them posted videos on social media to announce their resignations.
The ministry of home affairs has rebuffed the reports of resignations. "Reports have appeared in a section of media that some Special Police Officers (SPOs) in Jammu & Kashmir have resigned. J&K Police have confirmed that these reports are untrue & motivated. These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements," the statement said.
Earlier, eleven people, whose relatives were working in the Jammu and Kashmir police, were abducted by terrorists from Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag and Awantipora in August. The abductions followed the arrest of the son of Syed Salauddin, chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen, by the National Investigation Agency.
In an audio clip posted on social media, Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo had said the fight was against India but that Kashmir Police had become a “victim of Indian conspiracy” and its frontline. “We have tolerated a lot till this day and tried to make police understand but they did not listen. From now onwards we won’t allow this. From now onwards whosoever becomes our obstacle in our struggle, his fate will be that of an enemy.’
Meanwhile, former J&K DGP SP Vaid has condoled the death of the policemen and condemned the 'dastardly act'.
Let’s all stand together against this dastardly act against the brave J&K Police. My heart goes out to their families in this hour of grief.— Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) September 21, 2018