Monday, 28 November, 2022
HomeIndiaGovernance10 people, all relatives of policemen, kidnapped by militants in south Kashmir

10 people, all relatives of policemen, kidnapped by militants in south Kashmir

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J&K police chief says reports are being verified; incidents come in the wake of ‘threat’ by Hizbul Mujahideen commander, asking local cops to resign.

New Delhi: Ten people — all relatives of police personnel — have allegedly been kidnapped by militants from three districts in south Kashmir since Wednesday evening.

Jammu and Kashmir director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid said that police are still verifying the nature of these abductions. “We have received reports about six to seven abductions so far. We are in the process of verifying these reports,” Vaid told ThePrint.

When asked about the reason behind these kidnappings, Vaid said he can’t say anything at the moment. 

Local security and media sources, however, put the number at 10.

Also read: The new Kashmiri militant has a new target: Policemen on leave, at home

The kidnappings are seen as retaliation of police crackdown on militants.

Hours after gunmen shot dead four policemen in Shopian, the state police had Wednesday evening raided the houses of at least two top militants, including the one belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief of operations in Kashmir, Riyaz Naikoo, in Pulwama district.

Spate of kidnappings

Sources said the militants kidnapped Zubair Ahmad Bhat, son of a policeman Mohammad Maqbool Bhat, from Arwani area of Kulgam district Thursday evening.

Around the same time, they allegedly kidnapped Arif Ahmed Sankar, brother of station house officer Nazir Ahmed Sankar from Arwani; Faizan Ahmad Makro, son of policeman Bashir Ahmed Makro from Kharpora, Kulgam; Sumar Ahmad Rather, son of policeman Abdul Salam Rather from Yaripora, Kulgam; and Gowhar Ahmad Malik, brother of a deputy superintendent of police, Katapora, Kulgam.

The other victims included Yasir Ahmed Bhat, son of a police officer at Watho, Shopian, Nasir Ahmed from Mindora; and Shabir Ahmed Zargar of Kangan, Tral in Pulwama district. The latter two are also relatives of policemen.

A day before, militants had kidnapped Asif Ahmed Rather, son of a local policeman Rafiq Ahmed Rather from Pinglish, Tral.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the victimising the families on both sides — militants and security forces — was condemnable.

“Militants and forces victimising each other’s families is highly condemnable and marks a new low in our situation. Families shouldn’t become casualties and made to suffer for something they have little control over,” Mufti tweeted Friday morning.

Reacting to the kidnapping reports, former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said that the situation is very “worrying”.

“This is a very worrying reflection of the situation in the valley. What’s worse is the selective outrage – people/leaders who are so vocal about alleged security force excesses are silent about these abductions,” he tweeted.

Police-militants conflict

The conflict between police and militants is not new in the Valley. At least 30 policemen were killed in this year alone.

The security forces have declared a high alert across the south Kashmir where all these kidnapping have taken place in the past 24 hours.

Sources said, the authorities have also decided to launch a massive manhunt in the militancy-infested areas.

A threat note written in Urdu has asked the local policemen to resign or die. “If any policeman loves his life, he must resign or get ready to die. This is just a trailer to show them what we are capable of doing. We can also turn the lives of your families into hell…,” reads the note, tweeted by Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo. However, the authenticity of this note could not be verified.

Also read: The revenge killings in south Kashmir that has J&K police in militant crosshairs

In the threat tweet, Naikoo has tried to ridicule the DGP by saying, “Operation is on. Well done, boys.” This is a signature style of tweeting by the DGP during any encounter in the Valley.

A video had surfaced Monday, alleging that the house of a militant, Waris Malik alias Abu Jibran at Arwani, near Bijbihara, Anantnag had been vandalised by security forces. Families of some militants also alleged harassment by security personnel.

Following this, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief in Kashmir Naveed Jutt released an audio saying that police raid on houses of militants will have consequences.

Police sources say the current phase of militancy in the Valley is marked by a clear shift in how security personnel are targeted. The policemen who have become easy targets are mainly those who live in the interiors of Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian.

“They are doing tit-for-tat — if you go after our families, we will come after yours. If you engage in encounters, we will kill you,” a source told ThePrint.

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  1. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala (Punjab)

    Unfortunate , bad and sad state of affairs still prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir !

    Playing hide and seek, a casual and dithering approach is responsible for the trauma,
    trans border terrorism and insurgency in J&K !

    Some well planned, consistent and defence-diplomacy experts feedback based strategy
    should be pressed into action !

    The India’s polity at the helm is at its wits end to explore any worthwhile, effective policy
    to stem the rot ! After playing politics for almost more than three years, abruptly the
    Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state replacing a popular coalition government !
    This decision was guided by political considerations not at all implying sincere and bonafide
    intentions to solve the long standing sensitive problem staring the nation for decades together !

    Now every decision by Modi Government at the centre is being taken with an eye on
    political mileage and vote bank politics in the run up to the MARATHON- Lok Sabha Polls due
    in 2019 and assembly polls this year in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan,Chhatisgarh and next
    year in Mizoram !

    For Modi led BJP winning polls is the prime concern instead of solving problems, delivering
    the goods and redressing the grievances of the masses !

    Thr President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir is not the solution to the decades old riddle ! We
    should stop experimenting with J&K problem ! A team of defence strategists and experts be
    assigned this HerculeanTask. It taking all the stakeholders into confidence by seeking their
    views and opinion must take it to its logical conclusion !

    The status quo level looming large over the state for quite long must pave way now for peace,
    cordiality and harmony !
    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest,Barnala(Punjab)

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