J&K govt asks policemen of south Kashmir not to visit homes: Report

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Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir administration has asked policemen and Special Police Officers of South Kashmir to not visit their families or homes.

The advisory comes in the wake of the killings of three SPOs on Friday, and unconfirmed resignations of several others following a warning on Wednesday by Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo.

“The killings were in part responsible for India reconsidering its decision to agree to the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month,” the Hindustan Times reported.

“SPOs, whose main role is in gathering intelligence, and local policemen are soft targets because they do not live in fortified camps like the ones housing members of the army and the Central Reserve Police Force,” the report said.

On Friday, selection grade constable Nisar Ahmad, SPO Kuldeep Singh and follower, Firdous Kuchay were abducted by suspected militants from Batagund and Kapran villages early in the morning and killed within hours.

In the past too, there have been occasional advisories asking officers of the J&K police who reside in sensitive areas of south Kashmir to avoid visiting their homes.

“Keeping in view the sensitivity of threats and latest abduction and killings of three policemen, all SPOs and policemen who are from south Kashmir are being told through telephone not to visit their homes,’’ Hindustan Times quoted a police officer familiar with the advisory as saying. “This is being done to save the lives of our men as militants have killed many of our men at their homes when they were not on duty. In the past, many have ignored similar warnings.’’

“Since January, 37 policemen have been killed by suspected militants, many when they were off-duty,” it said.

“The four districts of south Kashmir have more than 3,000 SPOs. Across the state, there are more than 30,000 SPOs,” said the report.

J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said soon after the killing of three policemen on Friday that action would be taken against all the militants involved in the killings, and also dismissed the resignations of special police officers as rumors.

So far, over two dozen SPOs have resigned in different parts of south Kashmir.

On August 30, militants abducted 11 police personnel and their family members after the police detained the father of Riyaz Naikoo. However, they were released after the police released Naikoo Sr, Hindustan Times reported.