Raashid Hassan/ Suhail A Shah
Shopian/ Anantnag: More than half a dozen policemen, mostly special police officers (SPOs), took to social media to announce their resignations from police department on Friday, soon after the abduction and killing of three cops by militants in Shopian.
Among the cops who announced their resignation was Tajala Hussain Lone of Batagund village who was among the four policemen abducted by militants early Friday morning. According to family sources, Lone was released soon after his abduction. In a video circulated on social media, he says that he had already resigned from the police job earlier but today he was releasing a video to announce so.
“I have nothing to do with the department now,” Lone says in the video.
In a photograph which began doing rounds on social media, SPO Umar Bashir Nengroo of Kapren village, from where one of the three slain policemen was abducted, holds a sheet of paper with handwritten Urdu that announces his resignation and requests the militants to accept his resignation as truthful.
Another video shows Irshad Ahmad Baba, resident of Dangam, announcing his resignation from police. In the video Baba says that he was working in police department as Constable but is now resigning from the job.
Another SPO, Towseef Ahmad Parra, son of Khazir Muhammad Parra, resident of Humhuna village of Shopian, says on video that he has resigned from the police job.
One more cop, Mukhtar Ahmad Lone, resident of Hanjipora, announces his resignation in a video shown on news channel NDTV. “I am scared due to the prevailing situation and I am resigning from the job. I have made an affidavit and brought the resignation form. On Thursday I visited the department for approval of my resignation,” he says in the video.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) termed the news of these resignations as “false propaganda”.
A statement issued by the ministry said, “Reports have appeared in a section of media that some Special Police Officers (SPOs) in Jammu and Kashmir have resigned. J&K Police have confirmed that these reports are untrue & motivated. These reports are based on false propaganda by mischievous elements.”
A police source told Kashmir Reader that the photographs and videos of policemen announcing their resignations were probably circulated in response to a diktat issued recently by militants, asking policemen to keep their resignation letters ready in case they (militants) raided the policemen’s houses.
At certain places, Imams of local mosques read out resignation letters on behalf of policemen.
The resignations have come mostly from policemen living in Shopian district. Kashmir Reader tried to talk to some the SPOs who have announced their resignations, and their only response was that they “were resigning out of their own free will.”
The public resignations are second such in less than two months’ time here in south Kashmir. In August this year, more than 24 SPOs had made Imams at local mosques read out their resignations before the general public after Friday prayers in many villages of Tral in Pulwama district.
Some of them even took to newspapers and got their resignation letters published. The resignations in Tral had come after the killing of a local SPO and a bid on the life of another, who escaped injured.
The Home ministry’s statement asserted that militants are on the backfoot in Kashmir.
“Due to proactive actions of the J&K police, militants have been pushed to corner and are being driven to desperation,” the statement read.
J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh also refuted the claims of resignations. “Police work for the public and not to hurt anyone. Rumours should not be spread about them. If any such incident happens, we will look into it. Our SPOs have been doing their duty very well. They are an important part of our security forces,” Singh told media persons in Srinagar.
The statements by the MHA and the police chief, however, did little to plug the spate of resignations. Several resignations tumbled out even after the statements were widely carried by media houses.