Cops abducted from their homes early morning, shot dead within half an hour
Shopian: Of the four policemen they abducted early Friday morning from their homes in Shopian villages, militants killed three – a constable in the Jammu Kashmir Armed Police (JKAP) and two special police officers (SPOs), one of them belonging to the lone Hindu Rajput family living in the village.
Villagers who witnessed the abductions told Kashmir Reader that about 20 masked men came to Batagund and Kapren villages to abduct the policemen early in the morning, and dragged them away despite the pleas of villagers that the policemen would immediately resign from their jobs.
The slain policemen were identified as JKAP Constable Nisar Ahmad Dhobi, son of Abdul Rasheed Dhobi, resident of Kapren; SPO Kulwant Singh, son of Drube Singh, resident of Batagund; and SPO Firdous Ahmad Khuchay, son of Abdul Gani Khuchay, resident of Batagund. The bodies of all three were retrieved from near a canal on the outskirts of Wangam village.
Locals said that soon after the abductions, several gunshots were heard from nearby orchards in both the villages. They said that many people went to the orchards to look for the abducted policemen but could not find them.
A resident of Batagund village told Kashmir Reader that another abducted cop, Tajala Hussain Lone, was released soon after his abduction.
The bodies of the slain policemen were taken to District Police Lines Shopian for a wreath-laying ceremony. Kashmir Inspector General of Police SP Pani, Deputy Inspector General of Police Amit Kumar, Shopian Superintendent of Police Sandeep Choudhary, and other high-ranking officers placed wreaths upon the coffins of the slain cops.
SP Pani told reporters that police was investigating the killing of the three policemen.
Two of the slain cops – Nisar Ahmad Dhobi and Firdous Ahmad Kuchey – were laid to rest at their respective villages where hundreds of people participated in their funeral prayers. The father, wife and elder brother of Kulwant Singh were outside Kashmir for some work, which forced the family to keep his body at home. Family members said that his last rites would be performed by Saturday morning after the arrival of his immediate family members.
Villagers said that many of them pleaded with the militants to release the policemen. “I went in front of them and requested for their release. I told them they will announce their resignation right now, but they didn’t listen and took them away,” a resident of Batagund said.
They added that the killings of the policemen shocked them all as no one had thought that the militants would kill them.
“They (militants) told us that they will release them after they announce resignation from police department. We thought this was normal as that was the way militants talked. But just after half an hour we heard gunshots, at which we went out to search for them,” another local said.