Do not attack families of militants: Mehbooba tells cops

Do not attack families of militants: Mehbooba tells cops

Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday advised the police against attacking the families of the militants.

The chief minister said the police should conduct themselves differently from the militants while discharging their duty.

“The police are a law-abiding force but militants are not. Militants target policemen and PDP workers and ransack their house. However, police have a responsibility and should not act in the same manner,” Mehbooba said at the Police Training School-Manigam in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

Maintaining that the police were facing many challenges, the chief minister asked them to “ensure surrender of local militants”.

“If militancy has to be wiped out from Kashmir, we have to win the hearts of people,” Mehbooba said.

The south Kashmir districts of Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag have witnessed a number of attacks since last week on the houses of people who are associated with the ruling PDP and other mainstream political parties.

The attacks occurred place in the backdrop of security forces allegedly ransacking the houses of militants in Shopian earlier this month.

The first incident of militants forcing their way into the houses of policemen came to the fore on March 8 when a group of ultras told family members of an SP-rank official in Shopian to ask their son to “quit the job or face consequences.”

The incident prompted Director-General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid to warn ultras that "they too have families".

"Militants should realise they too have families. Let them (militants) take this as a warning. This is between police and terrorists and families should not be brought into this conflict. If the police start doing this (threatening), what will happen to their (militant) families,” Vaid said.

Since then, more than 24 incidents have come to the fore, mostly in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts – the epicentre of the last year’s unrest and bastion of new age militancy.

The situation in Kashmir has been on the edge since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces in July 2016, with no end to the protests and all-time high support for militants.

In the early 1990's, when the insurgency was at its peak, family members of several police officers were killed by the militants.

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