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Militants abduct, kill three policemen in south Kashmir's Shopian

Inspector General S.P. Pani paying respects to the slain policemen in south Kashmir.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Suspected militants abducted three special police officers (SPO) and killed them soon thereafter in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Friday morning.

 

The three policemen were kidnapped after over a dozen gunmen raided the twin villages of Batagund and Kaprin in Shopian around 6.45 a.m. The deceased have been identified as SPO Kulwant Singh, SPO Firdous Ahmed Kuchey and Constable Nissar Ahmed Dhobi.

Hours after the killings, over a dozen videos were uploaded on social media of persons claiming to be SPOs announcing their resignations. However, the police said no formal resignation had been tendered so far. Responding to reports of resignations, the Union Home Ministry in a statement said no SPO had resigned after the Friday’s killings in Shopian.

Describing the reports as “false propaganda by mischievous” elements, the Ministry said the police confirmed that these reports were “untrue and motivated.” It said militants were on the back foot and 28 militants were neutralised this year alone in Shopian district.

“Due to pro-active actions of @JmuKmrPolice militants have been pushed to corner and are being driven to desperation. 28 terrorists have been neutralised this year in Shopian alone,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

The Home Ministry said J&K police was fully geared up to meet the security challenges, including those related to the forthcoming panchayat and urban body elections.

“There are over 30,000 SPOs and their services are reviewed from time to time. Some mischievous elements are trying to project that those SPOs whose services are not renewed due to administrative reasons, have resigned,” it said.

Around 30,000 local men are employed as SPOs with the J&K police. They are lower rung policemen with less training compared to the constabulary and are usually appointed for jobs like drivers, cooks and personal security of protected personalities.

The Union government has increased the salaries of these SPOs from ₹6,000 to ₹12,000 this year. Ex-gratia amount for close relatives of slain SPOs was also raised from ₹14.50 lakh to ₹30 lakh recently.

Friday’s killings come five days after unknown persons made announcements on the public address system of mosques in Shopian, asking local policemen “to quit [government service] or face dire consequences”.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:36:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/militants-abduct-kill-3-policemen-in-kashmir/article25004028.ece

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